A young Norfolk skier is meeting royalty at Buckingham Palace tonight as part of London 2012.
Thomas ‘TJ’ Baldwin from Tharston near Long Stratton is an Alpine Racing Skier and has been selected as part of the Olympic torch relay handover tonight.
TJ is one of a number of young people who have had great sporting success over the past few years since being backed as a sporting or cultural 'Rising Star' by Norfolk County Council in 2008, as part of the council's Sports and Cultural Foundation.
Each year the council and local businesses have provided funding of £60,000 to talented Norfolk people aged between 14 - 25 (up to £5,000 each per year) helping them to train, learn, be better equipped and better supported in their area of expertise in the run up to London 2012.
Tonight's honour is part of the Olympic Ambition programme where future Winter and Summer Olympians are given a taste of what Olympics are like. At Buckingham Palace, 21 year old TJ will be part of the handover of the torch where it will spend the night before going to the stadium for the start of the Games. After the handover at a drinks reception, TJ will then meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
TJ has already had a great deal of success in his career to date. Earlier this year in Aspen, USA he took part in some North American cup events where he achieved three top 12 places, scoring a career best world ranking points for Downhill. These points moved him up to become the new British No 1 and No 149 in the world.
In Austria in February, TJ came 3rd in an International Super G where he scored his second best world ranking points, which combined with his best score from Canada, moved him up to be the new British No1 in Super G as well.
Another big event for TJ was the British Senior Championships in March in Meribel, France where he successfully defended his four titles in the Giant Slalom, Super G, Super Combined and Downhill. This means he is now ranked number one in Britain in Downhill and Super G, and second in Giant Slalom and Super Combined.
Some other good news for the Norfolk skier was that he has secured sponsorship for his summer training and part of next season from the travel search website 'Skyscanner'.