Jul 25 2012 by Donald Morton, Stirling Observer Wednesday
WITH two days to go, the country is being whipped up into an Olympics frenzy.
And here in Stirling we have four locals taking part, aiming for that elusive gold medal.
Dunblane brothers Andy and Jamie Murray will be on the tennis courts of Wimbledon, with Andy desperate to bounce back from his heartbreaking defeat against Roger Federer three weeks ago.
He has been seeded number three in the event due to the withdrawal of Rafael Nadal but, with the games being the best of three sets, anything can happen – as it did in Beijing when he lost in the first round to Lu Yen-Hsun from Taipei.
He will join his brother Jamie in the doubles, a partnership which reached the second round in 2008 before they lost to Michael Llodra and Arnaud Clement from France.
Andy was back at Wimbledon on Monday, when he carried the Olympic Torch on to Centre Court with the Young Games Maker volunteers who are the ball boys and girls for the tournament.
Joining the Murrays in the British team is former Stirling High School pupil Kieron Achara, who is in the basketball squad.
Stirling-born Kieron is hoping GB will shine in their first Olympic appearance since 1948.
After an impressive year with Spanish club Manresa, the 29-year-old former joins fellow Scot Robert Archibald form Paisley in the British squad, who will have a tough time against the mega-rich stars of the USA.
Kieron said: “A year in the ACB has really helped my confidence. I know I can play at that level after the season I’ve had.
“I just want to see basketball grow, I want to give it everything I can. I’ve wanted it for years. We’ve put in a lot of hard work and we really want to make people proud.”
Stirling-born Simon Terry will be hoping to hit the target in archery.
Simon, nephew of former Stirling Albion owner Peter McKenzie, is now based in Grantham in Lincolnshire. He made headlines as an 18-year-old in 1992 when he became the first Briton in 84 years to win an Olympic archery medal in individual competition.
He won a second bronze as part of the British trio in the men's team event but a few months later he gave up the sport for 12 years in order "to have a bit of a life."
He returned to competitive action in 2005 and is a regular presence in the world's top 10.
The 36-year-old said: “I was born in Stirling, where I lived for the first eight years of my life. My mother is a very proud Scot, while my dad is a Cockney.
“I first took up archery while I lived in Stirling but the great love of my life in those days was water-skiing.
“We then moved as a family to Sleaford in Lincolnshire and that was the point where archery became my number one sport.”
As well as the four locals, a number of Stirling University-based athletes will be taking part in London.
These include triathlete Gavin Noble (Ireland), former students Colin Fleming (tennis), Susan Egelstaff (badminton doubles) and Rob Bale (swimming).
Scott McCowan (boccia) and Charlotte Henshaw (swimming) have been selected for the Paralympic Games.