What fun! I was at an Olympic news conference earlier today and among the usual rag-tag group of reporters scrumming Premier Gordon Campbell one young man stood out – and I am talking young. Brennan LaBrie turned 10 last September.
A few minutes later, at a presser for silver medal skater Marianne St-Gelais, Brennan was at the mike with a question. I can’t even recall what he asked, I was so taken with his confidence.
His business card (yes, he has cards – well, him mum was carrying them for him) says Kid Reporter. At today’s event he was gathering copy for TIME for Kids.
His presence created quite a stir. Next time I saw him he was at the other end of a CBC radio reporter Renee Filippone’s mike. His mum said he’d been interviewed several times since arriving in Vancouver from his hometown of Port Townsend, Washington. She also said he was having a blast.
“He’s always asking questions,” she said. “Why wasn’t quite his first word, but it came really early on.” Way to go, Brennan – you’ve picked a great career!
Yesterday my little sister Cate was runner # 001 in the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay at Whistler. What a thrill to be a part of it and see the workings of the relay up close. It’s hard to imagine something this complex can operate with blazing precision yet be warm and human – but that was my sense of it.
It was 6:40 a.m., dark and nippy as our cheering section of eight gathered in the deserted parking lot. Within minutes our numbers grew. Dozens of uniformed RCMP officers materialized for a photo, vans drew up, Cate hopped out of the torch-bearer bus, cameras flashed, the famous miner’s light appeared in the gloom, her torch was aflame and she started to run – you could say magic was afoot.
It was truly beautiful – the blazing torch, the draped strings of tiny lights, a happy, jostling crowd beside Cate, the reflecting Olympic rings on the backs of officials who scurried in and out, on foot, on bikes and on time!
In what seemed like a trice Cate had covered her distance and touched the torch of runner # 002. The flame danced higher and brighter for a moment and the operation moved on. A magical interlude for Cate and for us and, it seemed to me, for everyone gathered.
Congratulations Cate – a well-deserved honour. Shine on!