Lighting the Canada Winter Games cauldron in sight

With each step on the MNP Canada Games Torch Relay we come closer to the lighting of the Canada Games cauldron and the start of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alberta.

Feb. 15, the final torchbearers on this great journey across Canada carry the Roly McLenahan Canada Games Torch across Red Deer towards the Opening Ceremony of the 2019 Games.

Seventeen Red Deer torchbearers carry the torch towards the Opening Ceremony Feb. 15: Craig Curtis, Erika Driesen, Tanner Fandrey, Morris Flewwelling, Shelley Gagnon, Gary W. Harris, Theresa “Corky” Larsen Jonasson, Chief Wilton Littlechild, Tim McLenahan, Barb Miller, Don Moore, Kalian Odongo, Kentice Odongo, Kim Schreiner, Rick Van Hemmen, Mayor Tara Veer and Mayor Jim Wood.

At the Opening Ceremony, the Canada Games Cauldron is lit from the torch to signify the beginning of the largest multi-sport and cultural event in the nation and the end of the first-ever national MNP Canada Games Torch Relay. Once at the Opening Ceremony, additional torchbearers help bring the torch to light the Canada Games Cauldron. These final torchbearers are revealed during the Opening Ceremony.

Being an athlete should have ended for Tanner Fandrey after he was diagnosed with Avascular Necrosis and Ankylosing Spondylitis. Despite this, he has competed as a para-alpine sit skier. Tanner is also a three-time national champion with Team Alberta’s sledge hockey team, a member of Team Canada’s Development Sledge Hockey Team and coaches a recreational sledge program.

Kentice Odongo recently moved to Canada from Kenya. Kentice is in grade 10 student. Kentice volunteers at the Central Alberta Humane Society. Kentice is excited for the opportunity to be a torchbearer for the Canada Winter Games and looks forward to meeting new people in the community.

Kalian Odongo recently moved to Canada from Kenya. Kalian is a middle school student. The Canada Winter Games is a great opportunity as it is a community event that will help Kalian learn about Red Deer. Kalian enjoys sports like basketball.

Shelley Gagnon was fortunate enough to play volleyball at an elite level and is now able to give back to sport through coaching and involvement in volunteer boards. Working on the 2019 Canada Winter Games Bid Committee, and seeing our vision come to life, has been rewarding for Shelley.

Tim McLenahan has been a Junior and High school, and college basketball and volleyball coach and official for 27 years. His great uncle is Roly McLenahan, whom the Canada Games Torch is named after.

Erika Driesen is a competitive ringette player and swimmer. In 2016, Erika was diagnosed with cancer and had to stop playing competitively, but that didn’t stop her from being involved in sport. She volunteered to coach and still attended practices and games. Erika persevered and got the all clear. However, Erika has experienced further setbacks in another diagnosis and continues to battle.

Don Moore spent many years as an athlete, coach, referee, fundraiser and administrator of sport in Red Deer. He served eight years on the Alberta Sport Council. Don was one of the leaders in the concept and construction of the Waskasoo Park system. Don was a huge proponent of volunteerism to make participation in sports accessible to all youth.

Cheer on the final torchbearers as they carry the Roly McLenahan Canada Games Torch through the streets of Red Deer. Be a part of this moment when we mark the start of the 2019 Games on February 15 from 4 until 8 p.m. at Hunting Hills High School.

Kaitlynn Rice

2019 Canada Winter Games

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