Three years ago, I attended a UBC Alumni Olympic event, and during the course of the evening as we listened to all the amazing things that were going to happen in 2010, we also learned more about the Torch Relay. There was an amazingly poignant story shared from the 1988 Calgary Olympic Torch Relay that really resonated with me (in fact, I still get teary when I re-tell the story). As I left the event that night, there was only one thing on my mind: I had to apply for a spot on the torch relay, even though I knew my odds of being chosen were not great.
Just over a year ago, the selection process began. The first part of the process was random, and by June of last year, I found out that I was lucky enough to have been chosen by Coca-Cola to move to the second round. To advance past this second round, all candidates had to write an essay on either the positive impact they have had on themselves or others related to active living or helping the environment. I chose active living. I wrote about how I hoped my own accomplishments, most recently completing my first triathlon at age 40, would inspire my children to have confidence in their abilities and to continue to challenge themselves.
I also wrote about how important it was for my sons to lead an active life and how I hoped to instill the same passion and dedication in them that I have for sports, especially since one of my three-year-old twin boys has Type 1 Diabetes. Regular physical activity is critical to his long-term health and creating an environment where being active was routine and meant having fun was incredibly important to me and to our family’s health.
I found out in August that my essay had been selected by the Red Ribbon Panel of Judges, and I cannot even begin to express the excitement I felt. After a background check, my official congratulatory email arrived in September, and in December, I received the details of my relay segment and my official Cheer Kit and uniform. As the days count down to my relay day (February 5 in Whistler Olympic Park), and as the Torch’s 45,000 journey comes closer to its end point, I am becoming increasingly more excited and emotional about being one of 12,000 incredibly lucky individuals to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I look forward to sharing my experience with you next week. Until then, wish me luck.