Flat Top Event Diary

Sydney Olympic Games 2000

Olympic Torch Relay

13th June 2000

The countdown to the Sydney Olympic Games in September 2000 has started, with the arrival, in Alice Springs on 8th June 2000, of the Ansett Airlines 737 carrying Olympic flame.

From its arrival in Alice Springs to the start of the Games, the flame will be carried to most of the population centres in Australia, by torch bearers chosen for their particular unique qualities.

David Reason, a client of The Flat Top Crew, was chosen to participate in the Torch Relay as the flame made its way from Brisbane to Ipswich on 13th June 2000.

For David to be able to participate in the Torch Relay is almost a miracle and a tribute to his sheer determination and will to live and to the love and support of his parents, family and friends.  

David's story began on 13th August 1997; he was 23 at the time and was riding his motorcycle home from work. As he rode down Annerley Road in South Brisbane, a car travelling in the opposite direction turned across his path. David was unable to avoid the collision and in the accident, his head was rammed against the door of the car.

As the ambulance pulled in to the Emergency Centre of the Princess Alexandra Hospital, David flat lined. The hospital staff managed to get his heart beating again, but the doctors told his family that he wouldn't make it through the night.

David had sustained head injuries, including a fractured skull, broken ribs, compound fractures of the collar bone, right arm, elbow and wrist, a compression fracture of the spine, a torn liver, lacerated spleen and both lungs had collapsed.

For the next four weeks nobody could say for certain whether David would survive, he remained unconscious during that whole period; the one thing that was clear was that David would never be the man he was before the accident.

One of David's interests was body building, he went into hospital 97kg and two months later, when he was finally released, he weighed 69kg.

After David's release from hospital he began eighteen months of rehabilitation, which included physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. David had to learn to walk again and even had to learn how to swallow.

David has overcome all of the physical hurdles and has amazed everybody. He has returned to work, works out at the gym 5 days a week and recently started riding a motorcycle again.

David has not managed to regain five years of lost memory and still has some problems with his short term memory, but he is working on it and we have every reason to believe that he will win in the end.

David carried the torch approximately 400 metres, starting at Mill Street, Goodna at 16:11 on Tuesday, 13th June 2000 and handed the torch over at St Francis Xavier School, Goodna.

As the time approached for the relay to pass, a crowd gathered along the length of Mill Street, Goodna.

Excitement mounted as the main support vehicle, carrying the torchbearers, came into sight with a police escort.

The support vehicle dropped David at his changeover point, approximately 10 minutes before he was due to participate in the relay.

At that time he was carrying the torch he was going to use in the relay. He had been given the option of borrowing the torch and handing it back, after the relay, or purchasing the torch to keep after the relay; he chose to buy it.

A couple of minutes before Amy Beckman, the torchbearer before David, reached the changeover point, a senior police officer, riding a Harley Davidson specially painted for the Torch Relay, briefed David on what would happen.
As soon as Amy arrived at the changeover point, David lit his torch off hers and commenced his part of the relay.

David's route took him up a small hill as Mill Street climbed up to St Francis Xavier School, at the top of the hill. Once he reached the outside of the school, his part of the relay had finished.

David after the relay.

Amy and David together after the relay.

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