A SOLDIER from Lytham has been protecting some of the world’s top athletes at the Olympic Games.
Lance Corporal Toby Townsend has been working alongside thousands of other army personnel to ensure the smooth running of the Games.
And that has included security checks on even the iconic medals.
The 20-year-old said: “We’re here to make sure people are not bringing in restricted or prohibited items, and that they have a safe and enjoyable day.
“I’m trained as an x-ray machine operator and we’ve even picked up a few of the competitors’ medals in their baggage.”
Toby saw some sporting legends through security while based at Eton Dorney near Windsor, where the Olympic rowing and canoe sprint competitions took place.
He said it was “fascinating” to be in the course where nine medals were won.
He added: “I seized this opportunity with both hands because I’m quite sporty.
“I’m really happy to be playing a small part in such a massive event as the Olympics.
“We have been dealing with people from right across the world.”
Toby, a former Kirkham Grammar School pupil, has been part of the 4th Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, the Territorial Army Infantry unit for two years.
He works as a Territorial Army recruiter in Blackpool.
The keen sportsman said he feels lucky to have had the chance to share in the once-in-a-lifetime event in London.
He has been working as part of venue security but has been able to see some of the sports in his time off.
He said: “At the end of shifts we’ve been able to come to the water and see some of the rowing events.
“While off duty we also travelled over to the Olympic Park.”