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!