By Kim Hutchison
It may be hard to believe but the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games are already making history and Ponoka will be a part of the excitement.
The symbolic torch representing peace among participating nations, will depart from Victoria, B.C. on Oct. 30, 2009 and embark on a 106-day, cross Canada journey before returning to British Columbia to mark the start of the Vancouver Games on Feb. 12, 2010 making it the longest recorded domestic torch relay in history.
On Nov. 21 the Honourable Gary Kunn, minister responsible for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, joined the Honourable James Moore, minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, to announce the official relay route. The torch will visit every province and territory and the respective capital cities and will also make additional select stops passing through more than 1,000 cities and towns and Ponoka is one of its scheduled stops! It will be in town on Jan. 15, 2010.
“I am thrilled that the Olympic Torch will be making its way through the Wetaskiwin constituency,” said Member of Parliament Blaine Calkins. “As it makes its way across our country, the torch will rightfully visit Wetaskiwin, Hobbema, Ponoka and Lacombe giving residents a chance to celebrate our talents, history and contributions to Canada,” he said.
“We are enthused and feel it is a privilege to have the Torch come to our community,” said Mayor Larry Henkelman. “It will be a great celebration,” he said.
Exact plans will be revealed once more specific information continues to become available.
Twelve hundred Canadians have the chance to run with the torch. To find out how to become an Olympic Torch Bearer, visit icoke.ca or www.carrythetorch.com to view and fill out an application now. Coca Cola and RBC, the relay’s presenting partners, are looking for Canadian applicants who commit to live healthier or are inspired to create a stronger country through volunteering or making sustainable choices.
For more information on the 2010 Games, visit www.Canada2010.gc.ca