A Bogota native was selected to be one of 8,000 people to carry the Olympic torch across the United Kingdom, ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“32-year-old Felipe Alviar-Baquero will run 300 meters with the flame through the town of Maidstone in southeast England.
“I feel incredibly proud,” he told Colombia Reports. “It’s a complete privilege and honour.”
The chance to be a part of the Olympic Games was made even more special, he said, because he will carry the torch on July 20, Colombia’s Independence Day.
Alviar-Baquero is a solicitor at the London offices of Latham & Watkins, one of the world’s largest law firms. He holds the University of Oxford’s highest degree in civil law, as well as a degree in law and business from the University of Kent.
During his 14 years in England he has worked to promote Latin American culture.
“I have been working for the community, and I want my children to see the fruit of that, and to make a difference,” he said.
But he was still shocked when he learned he had been selected from tens of thousands of applicants.
Alviar-Baquero moved to the UK to study English at the age of 18, and took night courses while working, before gaining entrance to the University of Kent. He founded the school’s Latin America Society and hosted a Latin American music radio show.
While at Oxford he was elected president of the school’s Latin American Society. He now sits on the board of directors of the Children of the Andes, a UK-based non-profit organization that helps Colombian children orphaned by violence.
The Olympic Torch Relay runs over 70 days, from 19 May to 27 July 2012.