2010 Torch relay builds momentum in Red Deer

The man behind the Vancouver 2010 Olympic torch relay stopped in Red Deer on Thursday to congratulate star athletes and inspire them to compete in the world’s most renowned sporting event.

The man behind the Vancouver 2010 Olympic torch relay stopped in Red Deer on Thursday to congratulate star athletes and inspire them to compete in the world’s most renowned sporting event.

As keynote speaker of the 2009 Red Deer Community Sports Awards Banquet, Jim Richards spurred on competitors to see the Olympics as an achievable dream. He himself works with a team of 38 in Vancouver aspiring to make the torch run a success for all of the world to see.

“We all play our positions, but at the same time there’s no job description that can really encompass what we really need to accomplish,” Richards said. “That goes with anyone aspiring to be an Olympian . . . you pick up and play whatever role is necessary and you do it with a smile and you do it with pride.”

Richards also encouraged the community to get involved as a torchbearer or volunteer with the Red Deer torch run celebrations on Jan. 15. More information is online at www.reddeer.ca

Red Deer is one of 187 Canadian communities chosen to host a free event as the torch passes through on its way to its final destination in Vancouver.

The Red Deer organizing committee will choose a person from the community to do the last leg of the torch run leading into Westerner Park where the party will occur.

Richards said there are about 210 days left to Oct. 30, the start of the torch run that will span 45,000 kilometres and involve 12,000 torchbearers. It will pass through 1,000 communities including Hobbema, Ponoka, Lacombe and Sylvan Lake on Jan. 15.

“We’ve gone from what the celebration could look like to really starting to nail it down,” Richards said. “Communities are now engaging with local volunteers and deciding who is doing what.”

Richards expects the weather will be a key challenge as the Olympic torch makes its way across Canada’s vastness.

“We can put all the planning we want into play — road times, even ferry times — but if we get two or three days of extremely bad weather, that really gets us into contingency planning. How do we accommodate those torchbearers who are potentially missing their opportunity?”

The Winter Olympics will be held from Feb. 12 to 28 next year.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Make-A-Wish grants to Star Wars loving teen’s wish

Make-A-Wish granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

Sunny weather improves farmers’ prospects

A harvester kicking up dust. It’s a picture that will bring a… Continue reading

Rural transit pilot project being considered

Penhold, Innisfail and Red Deer County councils to decide whether to go ahead with project

‘Stupid’ law preventing Canada’s re-engagement with Iran: retired envoy

OTTAWA — The real reason the Liberal government hasn’t been able to… Continue reading

Voters head to polls for BC municipal elections today

VANCOUVER — Voters in British Columbia will head to the polls today… Continue reading

All sharks tagged in N.S. expedition can now be tracked on Ocearch website

HALIFAX — All six of the sharks tagged in Nova Scotian waters… Continue reading

Memorial service for former PQ minister Lise Payette today in Montreal

MONTREAL — Mourners will gather to remember former Parti Quebecois cabinet minister… Continue reading

Immunotherapy scores a first win against some breast cancers

For the first time, one of the new immunotherapy drugs has shown… Continue reading

‘Mom I’m in trouble:’ Canadian, Brit face 10 years in jail for alleged graffiti

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The mother of a Canadian who was arrested… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Most Read