Happy Holidays…. From Olympians Carrying the Flame
As the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay wraps up its journey through southern Ontario, it begins to make its way to the northwest portion of the province. In this segment of its travels, during the holiday season, the Flame will be carried by 13 Olympians.
On Sunday, Dec.27 – day 59 of the Torch Relay – the Flame is carried by two Olympic swimmers. In Cambridge, 1984 Olympian Ken Fitzpatrick carries it; later, in nearby Stratford, 2008 Olympian Julia Wilkinson carries the Olympic Torch in the town renowned for its Shakespearean festival.
On Monday, a star hurdler carries the Torch in Erin, Ont. That would be 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, now one of Canada’s strongest track athletes.
The Dec. 29 leg of the Flame’s journey boasts an all-star lineup that begins in Collingwood. There, two-time bobsleigh Olympian (1972, 1968), Bob Storey carries the Flame through this mountainside town. Above Collingwood (literally), 2006 Olympic snowboarder, Brad Martin switches things up by snowboarding down the slopes of the Blue Mountain Ski Resort, while carrying the Olympic Torch. Martin, a halfpipe specialist, is a 2010 Olympic hopeful. Finally, in Elmvale, Ont. 1996 Olympic swimmer Andrea Smith carries the Torch.
On Wednesday, 1996 Olympic gold medallist in the men’s 4×100-metre relay, Robert “Blast Off” Esmie carries the Torch through Barrie. From there, the Relay heads north to the town of Huntsville, where 1996 Olympic silver medal rower, Anna van der Kamp, and 2004 Olympic gymnast, Melanie Banville, each carry the Torch.
Thursday, the Flame temporarily travels back to Quebec, where the town of Rouyn-Noranda, celebrates the arrival of the Olympic Torch and its torchbearers: two-time Olympians Alison Herst-Jackson (1996, 1992, canoe-kayak) and Denyse Julien (2004, 1992, badminton). Rouyn-Noranda is hometown for several Canadian athletes, including hockey player Gina Kingsbury and weightlifter Christine Girard.
On New Year’s Day, the Olympic Torch migrates back to Ontario, where 1988 and 1984 Olympic field hockey star Sharon Speers carries the Torch through Iroquois Falls.
On the second day of 2010, 1984 double gold medallist – and one of the greatest Canadian swimmers of all time – Alex Baumann, carries the Torch through his university town of Sudbury. These days, Baumann is chief technical officer of Own the Podium, helping guide Canada’s Olympic successes for 2010 and beyond.