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Emily-Mia's Olympic hope on hold

PUBLISHED: 18:28 29 May 2008 | UPDATED: 11:09 03 July 2010

A Bradwell school girl who was one of 18 finalists selected from 4500 countrywide has been pipped to a place at an Olympic ceremony in Beijing.

But undimmed by the disappointment Emily Mia Harris who is achieving great success on the national swimming circuit still has her sights set on swimming for her country in 2012.

A Bradwell school girl who was one of 18 finalists selected from 4500 countrywide has been pipped to a place at an Olympic ceremony in Beijing.

But undimmed by the disappointment Emily Mia Harris who is achieving great success on the national swimming circuit still has her sights set on swimming for her country in 2012.

Having entered a Blue Peter competition the 10-year-old was among a shortlist of names in with a chance of a role in the ceremony to formally hand the Olympic baton over to London, chosen on the basis of her courage, determination and bubbly personality.

And on Saturday Emily Mia who has faced life with a big smile despite losing her lower limb shortly after birth travelled to London with her mother Donna Doornbos Harris for the selection procedure, a version of which was shown on Blue Peter on Tuesday.

After a series of tests and games to assess how well the children interacted and how they performed on camera, she was interviewed by a celebrity panel including well-known athletes and presenters.

Mrs Doornbos Harris said: “They had an absolutely fantastic day playing games and bonding. To enter the competition she had to write an imaginary postcard to a child in China telling them about her and her talent.

“Going to London was an amazing experience but it was sad to think that of these 18 children 16 were going to be heart broken.”

She said Emily Mia was disappointed not be selected, but appreciated she was really lucky to have gone behind the scenes at Blue Peter, mingled with the presenters and achieved a coveted Blue Peter badge.

Favourite presenter Zoe Salmon, who announced this week she was quitting the show, was “amazing” Mrs Doonbos Harris said, adding: “She had all the children hanging off her all day and that girl did not let her smile drop. She was so genuine and absolutely adorable.”

Despite narrowly missing out on the seven day trip Emily Mia who has astounded her family with recent swimming success at national level is more determined than ever to achieve her place swimming for her country in London on 2012.

Mercury readers were among well-wishers who rallied round to fund an £8000 prosthetic leg with “real toes,” boosting Emily Mia's confidence and her determination not to be limited by her disability.


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