Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Jet named after Dame Mary Peters

Dame Mary Peters with the Olympic Flame at George Best Belfast City Airport

Flybe has named an aircraft after Northern Irish Olympic gold medallist Dame Mary Peters to celebrate 40 years since her victory.

Dame Mary, 73, won gold in the Pentathlon at the Munich Games in 1972.

In a surprise ceremony at George Best Belfast City Airport, Flybe unveiled an aircraft named after the sportswoman, who has devoted much of her life to encouraging young people to play sport.

Well-known Olympic medallists will attend a celebratory evening at Belfast's Grand Opera House. Dame Kelly Holmes, Denise Lewis and Sir Steve Redgrave are among those expected.

The aircraft tribute features a life-size image of the athlete, pictured standing on the podium after the medal ceremony. The picture was taken by her father on 3rd September 1972.

Alongside the image is the name of the aircraft, the Dame Mary Peters.

The Liverpool-born medallist moved to Portadown in County Armagh after her father started working in Northern Ireland.

Her athletic potential was spotted early. Dame Mary competed in three Olympic Games and five Commonwealth Games, her first when she was just 18 years old.

She travelled across Belfast to train for Munich as the bombs were going off in the city but despite running this gauntlet she emerged victorious.

She carried the Olympic flame from a special flight as it arrived in Northern Ireland earlier this summer at George Best Belfast City Airport and ran with it in East Belfast through the same streets where she trained for Olympic glory.

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