Olympic ace Leon swaps stories with veteran Ken

Former diver Ken Miller from Wirksworth with Olypmic diver Leon Taylor.
Former diver Ken Miller from Wirksworth with Olypmic diver Leon Taylor.

a 92-YEAR-OLD from Wirksworth – a former swimming and diving ace – has been swapping stories with Olympic medallist Leon Taylor as part of an exclusive group invited to a diving master class.

Ken Miller is one of just 100 people from across the UK taking part in the BT Storytellers campaign, to record the story of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The BT Storytellers comprise bloggers, social networkers, artists, writers, poets, graphic designers, film-makers, photographers, and musicians.

Ken met BT Ambassador Leon at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, Sheffield, and spent the first part of the day learning basic technique on a trampoline, followed by the second half of the session where he progressed to the pool.

The afternoon was designed to give Ken an exclusive opportunity to meet and learn from a top athlete, which he will in turn use to produce content for the BT Storytellers website.

Leon Taylor is regarded as one of the world’s best platform divers and is one of a handful of divers to perform in competition the ‘hardest dive in the world’ – a backward two and a half somersaults with two and a half twists piked.

Leon achieved silver medal status at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and fulfilled a lifetime’s ambition with a podium finish and an Olympic silver medal in Athens in 2004, the first British diving medal since 1960.

Ken, previously County Junior Backstroke Champion of Middlesex (1938 and 1939) in addition to holding the title of Junior springboard Diving Champion Middlesex ASA (1938), is now in retirement and has developed interests in continued adult education, in creative writing, and poetry.

Ken said of the experience: “I thoroughly enjoyed the day, it was really fun to have a go and meet Leon Taylor. If I was 60 years younger, I would definitely think about taking it up again!

“I did a lot of diving when I was younger and it’s great to see how much support there is for youngsters now. I’ll definitely be watching the diving next year.”

The BT Storytellers‘ news, updates and artistic endeavours will be available to view at www.bt.com/storytellers