This evening double Olympic Gold medallist Tom James has become the first Freeman of Wrexham in thirty four years. A special event to mark the occasion was held on Llwyn Isaf outside the Guildhall.
Tom James was awarded the title due to his feat of winning two golds in consecutive Olympics – Beijing in 2008 and London this year. Chris Bartley was also recognised, while sadly Vicky Thornley was unable to attend.
Llwyn Isaf was split in two, with a public area containing roving ‘street artists’, fire eaters, jugglers, massive women in traditional welsh dress plus a very brave trapeze artist! The second area contained activity areas with local teams and schools playing various sports. Needless to say with both Tom and Chris being rowers, there were rowing machines!
Tom received his honour inside the Guildhall with the council meeting being relayed outside via a live feed to a big screen. Sadly the audio was not brilliant, however that technical detail did not diminish the crowds enthusiasm.
After the council meeting, speeches were made from the Guildhall balcony where Tom thanked the people of Wrexham for their support and said “Chris and I are always proud to say we are from the Wrexham area”. He went on to say “we hope we inspire others in Wrexham”.
Games makers from the local area for London 2012 attended, plus the local torchbears – with torches! You can view our special video of the day the Olympic torch came to Wrexham by clicking here.
Tom and Chris did not leave Llwyn Isaf until all autograph and picture requests were fulfilled – with children even getting to hold the medals! One told us “The silver medal was REALLY heavy!”
Tonight was also historic as it was the very first time a council meeting was broadcast live, with only general election results being made live before (Thanks to Mark Currie for that fact!) . Likewise, the very first tweet from inside a council meeting took place in Wrexham – you can view it here!
As well as this photo based report Wrexham.com has a video report of the event that will be online this weekend so remember to check back!