Finally, some photos of the 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay! If you scroll over them, you will see the captions, as they play.
I did my leg on Grandville Street between Robson and Smithe, then turned right on Smithe and went down a block. All the legs were about 200 m. It was really wonderful doing that particular leg-Grandville has alot of cool marquis that were lit up, so the whole distance had a bit of a surreal quality to it.
They had a shuttle bus that goes along the route and dropped Torchbearers off at their location. Once you finished your leg, you would get back on the shuttle and they would disarm your torch. (Take the gas canister out and clip the gas line.)
My team, the group doing the relay between 2 & 3 a.m., had our briefing and then we each shared our Torchbearing stories with one another. The woman who was in charge of our group told us that while we'd all said we were "lucky" to be chosen, luck had nothing to do with it. She said we'd all been chosen, based on our essays and that we were carrying the torch because the VANOC committee felt we were the kind of people who inspire others in our everyday lives. WOW! What a nice thing to say!
My group included Craig, who was in a wheelchair and lit the cauldron at 2 a.m.; a summer Olympic athlete, Benoit Huot from Montreal who is a Paralympic swimmer; a small town doctor; Kevin who lit my torch; Michelle whose torch I lit and several others.
When I got to my location, friends and family were waiting there for me. Kevin came along and lit my torch and I was off, with my loved ones following along, which was great! As I was walking my leg of the route, I was waving at everyone who had stopped to watch. At 2:37 a.m., I was happy to see as many people out and about as I did!
After the relay, I went home and got a few hours sleep. I 'd received an invite via the Mayor's office to go to Livecity Downtown in the afternoon. It's one of the Paralympic venues where they have the Canada pavilion as well as Le Centre de Manitoba. My son came with me, as well as some friends. 100 Torchbearers turned up, the largest gathering of Torchbearers ever. The Mayor, Gregor Robertson and John Furlong, President of VANOC were there and I made sure I had pictures taken with both of them.
Afterward, my son and I went for dinner and then headed off to see the Opening Ceremonies. I'll be posting about that next!