Why would anyone sell an Olympic torch?

I was sickened to learn that some of the Olympic torch relay runners are selling their torch and uniform.

Martin Kvapal

I was sickened to learn that some of the Olympic torch relay runners are selling their torch and uniform.

Recently I had the opportunity to hold one of the Olympic torches and to have my photo taken with it. You could feel the patriotic energy coming from even an unlit torch. It was an honour and privilege just to hold it for a few seconds.

Many of the used, and unused, torches are being sold on EBay.

I contacted several of the EBay sellers that had listed their torch and uniform for sale, as I was curious as to why someone would part with such a significant and proud piece of memorabilia. Some of the sellers explained that they represented a charity for which any sale proceeds would benefit.

One seller explained that he had spent about $50,000 on renovating his family’s home to become more green and energy-efficient in order to be more environmentally friendly.

These reasons are all good, wonderful and respectful. However, the most common reason, and that the one that burns me, is that the torches were listed for sale so that the seller wanted to see what they could get for it and to see if they could make a bunch of money. Is nothing sacred?

How were these runners chosen? Did they lie on their torch relay submissions when they agreed to be even better Canadians?

What stunned me even more is that the sellers that I contacted didn’t even hide the fact that they were trying to get the most bucks for their bang. Sentiment and memories — priceless.

Like many other proud Canadians, I also submitted my name to be a 2010 Olympic torch relay runner.

I entered my name online through the Royal Bank of Canada promotion. Along with my submission, I vowed to be a better Canadian in some or several ways, such as being active in the local sporting community at a coaching level; however, like many others, I was not selected to participate in the relay.

Perhaps the Olympics or the torch relay is not as important to some as it is to others.

Maybe the Olympics mean different things to different people.

The Olympics were in my everyday routine for six years as I trained and competed in the sport of skeleton – firstly with the Canadian team and later with the Czech Republic team.

After a couple of years with the Canadian team, I pursued an alternate Olympic route with the Czech team as my chances for participating in the 2006 Turin Games would be greater given the depth of the Canadian team.

Ironically, for political reasons, the Czech Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation did not allow me to complete my final qualifying race. And that was that — dream erased.

As any athlete in such a position will tell you, it’s not easy to just turn it off after years of intense training, strict diet and routine.

I imagine it’s like coming off some types of medication too quickly or stepping off of an amusement park ride. In fact, such a lifestyle and regiment change sent me into somewhat of a mental depression.

All of a sudden the training, competition and accolades ceased.

I didn’t feel like the same person anymore.

It’s been four years now and the missed opportunity of Torino still seems to linger heavily in my mind.

Perhaps by participating in the 2010 torch relay I was looking for and hoping that one more Olympic connection would have helped me once and for all get over the past and move on.

For me, and I’m sure for many others, excluding the non-sentimental types on EBay, running with the Olympic torch and treasuring the memorabilia would be one for the archives.

Perhaps just the mere exercise of writing this letter and having a photo taken with the Olympic torch will have to suffice in the action of moving on.

Martin Kvapal

Red Deer

Just Posted

Lee seeks UCP nomination in Red Deer

Eyes Red Deer-North constituency

Updated Red Deer smoke free bylaw to ban smoking cannabis in public

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Red Deer city council considers new business licence bylaw

All businesses operating in the City of Red Deer will require a… Continue reading

Saskatchewan farmer’s death triggers emotional harvest of love and respect

MILESTONE, Sask. — Volunteers have rallied to harvest the large wheat crop… Continue reading

Councillors want to represent Red Deer at AUMA

City council approves endorsement

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Animal crackers break out of their cages

After more than a century behind bars, the beasts on boxes of… Continue reading

Alligator kills woman trying to protect her dog at resort

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — A woman who often walked her dog… Continue reading

Patients redirected as water leak shuts down Edmonton hospital’s emergency room

EDMONTON — Ambulances are being redirected to other hospitals after a water… Continue reading

Parks Canada moves second bison bull that wandered out of Banff National Park

BANFF — Parks Canada says a second bison bull that wandered out… Continue reading

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is scrapping an unpopular lottery system for… Continue reading

Air Canada-led consortium signs deal to buy Aeroplan program from Aimia

TORONTO — A consortium led by Air Canada has reached a deal… Continue reading

Scheer going to India to ‘repair’ relationship after ‘disastrous’ Trudeau trip

OTTAWA — Six months after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s foreign policy prowess… Continue reading

Police chiefs want new data-sharing treaty with U.S. as privacy questions linger

OTTAWA — Canada’s police chiefs are pressing the Trudeau government to sign… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month