Opening ceremony Marine: 'Mum says I'm grounded'

Olympic Torch
© PA Photos
Palaympics opening ceremony torchbearer Joe Townsend kept his role in the Games a secret from his family.

The Royal Marine who flew the Paralympic torch into the stadium on a zipwire at yesterday's opening ceremony has revealed that he had to keep his role secret from his mother.

Joe Townsend, who lost both his legs on duty in Afghanistan, also said that his mum threatened to ground him after the ceremony.

"All she knew was I was going to be in the opening ceremony somewhere," Townsend told The Telegraph. "She was in the stadium with my girlfriend, and I managed to get them backstage to see me afterwards.

"My mum gave me a clip around the ear and told me I was grounded. But she was really proud and overwhelmed, a bit tearful."

Townsend is hoping to compete in the triathlon at the Rio Paralympics, should the event be included for the first time as expected.

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