The biggest thrill in carrying the Olympic Flame as one of Canada’s first runners (ok, walkers) was having my kids on the Legislature lawns watching on. Actually screaming is a better word, Kate was on my fiancé’s shoulders screaming “Go Mommy” as if I was competing in an Olympic final. It didn’t make me walk any faster. My old injury was a great excuse but really I just wanted to fully enjoy the thrill of actually carrying the Olympic flame and the energy of the crowd for the full two hundred metres.
William and Kate are the product of two Olympic athletes parents, so an interest in the Olympics would not be unusual. However, since Vancouver won the Olympic and Paralympic Games, my son William has been Olympics crazy. He clung to me on Friday like Velcro, which for a twelve year old, was pretty endearing. It was only later I realized it wasn’t me he was clinging to, it was The Torch. “ Can we mount the Torch in my room” he asked the moment I walked in the door that night “ can I bring The Torch to school on Monday.” “It’s our Torch, right mommy.” My daughter wanted this show and tell piece too, but my son was clear. “Shoddy on the Torch” which in case you don’t know means—I called it.
And so this morning, I am thinking, is it possible that all the inspiration stuff I have always believed the Olympics can bring, is working on my son? Has he got Olympic Fever? What I know for sure is that there were hundreds of people of Friday that were moved to tears at seeing, carrying or cheering for The Torch. I talked to a woman who will be carrying the torch for a husband who had polio and was never able to run, I talked to young athletes who were chosen for their abilities and their potential, I spoke to random people who were simply moved to tears. This little flame represents something, and what I witnessed on Friday was a very public display of pride, and excitement and hope. That is the magic of The Torch. -- Silken
Photo Credit: "Beth Hayhurst Photography" www.bethhayhurst.com