London 2012: Prince William request gives John Hulse torch

John Hulse (right) with Wai Ming-Lee and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Image caption John Hulse (right) with Wai Ming-Lee, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry at the palace

A mountain rescuer from north Wales has carried the Olympic Torch in London at Prince William's request.

John Hulse, an Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation team leader, carried the torch out of Buckingham Palace and along Constitution Hill.

He was chosen after the prince, who is patron of Mountain Rescue England and Wales, asked for a rescuer to take on the torch in London.

Mr Hulse has taken part in more than 1,000 rescue operations over 30 years.

On the eve of the London 2012 Olympic Games officially opening, Mr Hulse was handed the torch from Wai Ming-Lee, 38, from Hemel Hempstead, at Buckingham Palace.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry saw the "torch kiss" between Wai and Mr Hulse who then carried it out of the palace and was joined by members of the Household Cavalry as he travels along Constitution Hill.

Before playing his part, the 56-year-old rescue team leader said: "I'm greatly honoured to be asked to carry the torch on behalf of Mountain Rescue England and Wales."

He represented more than 50 teams, and more than 2,500 team members, across England and Wales.

Chris Lloyd, chairman of Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation (OVMRO), said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry chose a charity each to be represented during the relay in London.

OVMRO works closely with Prince William, who is a search and rescue helicopter pilot based at RAF Valley on Anglesey.

Image caption John Hulse has been a rescuer for more than 30 years

Mr Lloyd said: "As far as I know, three charities were picked to do the torch-carrying in and out of the [Buckingham] Palace.

"He asked for someone from Mountain Rescue England and Wales to be there.

"It was up to us to decide who deserved it most.

"For all John has done for mountain rescue over the years, it was very fitting. It's thoroughly well-deserved."

Among Mr Hulse's contributions to mountain rescue, Mr Lloyd said, was developing a callout and logging system which is used throughout the UK by emergency services and other agencies.

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