Bo’ness archer was staggered by Paralympic fervour

BO’NESS Paralympic archer Murray Elliot has been reflecting on his epic experience as part of Team GB which saw him make his games debut on the home stage in London.

The 50-year-old may not have capped his participation with a medal but he did his family and supporters proud - including wife Hazel, a Paralympic archery coach, whose ladies’ recurve team got to the quarter-finals.

“It’s a culmination of a dream.

‘‘It would have been nice to put a medal round my neck but to go there and represent the country at a home games and be part of the greatest show on earth, you can’t find words to describe it,” he said.

Murray headed back north last week after savouring the incredible reception given to the home athletes in Monday’s heroes’ parade in London and then at a function with the Prime Minister and Sir Steve Redgrave.

But his return to ‘reality’ and day job as a part-time IT manager was short lived with participation in last Friday’s reception for Scottish athletes in Glasgow with the First Minister!

Murray - a Balbardie Archers member who trains at Beecraigs Country Park - confirmed Rio 2016 is now in his sights.

Murray was beaten 6-0 by Russian Oleg Shestakov in the men’s individual recurve standing contest after struggling to bounce back from some technical issues in the ranking round.

“It was a really hard competition,” he said. “I didn’t do very well in the ranking round unfortunately which put me up against the eventual silver medallist.”

Murray - who has spine and pelvic problems - said: “It’s sometimes hard to peak at the right moment.”

Of participating in the opening ceremony, he said: “It was mindblowing, with 80,000 people all screaming ‘Team GB’.

“I’d never experienced in my life before,” said Murray.

“That first hit of that wall of sound was the best feeling ever. We all soaked it up. I was just buzzing with it.”

From the athletes’ village to transport and the Games Makers, Murray couldn’t fault London 2012, describing a ‘really positive vibe in the camp’ and saying: “I’m just beyond grateful I was able to experience it.’’