by Leeann Burke

I am so looking forward to the winter Olympics in a few months. I remember in 1988 (yep I’m dating myself) when the winter Olympics’ were in Calgary. Canada did something different to celebrate this event - we had a cross country torch run. This was the first time (I believe but I could be wrong) that every day ordinary people took part in the Olympics’. Did I take part? No, I didn’t. However my Mom picked me up after school and we followed the torch when it hit Ottawa.

I remember feeling complete awe when I caught my first glimpse of the flame. In that moment I felt like I had missed out on something magical by not applying to be a torch bearer. Why is that? Well I’ll be honest I may be a runner and go to the gym a few times a week but there is no way I would ever be good enough at one sport to be able to take part in the Olympics itself. Being a torch bearer would be the closest I’d ever get.

As we made our way back home that night I told my Mom that next time Canada hosted the Olympics I would be one of the torch bearers. So when we won the 2010 winter Olympics I was excited not only because I’m a huge Olympic nut, but because I would get a chance to possibly carry the beautiful Olympic torch. No one in my family was surprised when I decided to apply.

I kept an eye on when and where to send my application to be a torch bearer. I applied the first weekend registration opened. In my mind there were only 11,999 spots because I was going to be one of the 12,000 runners. I’d love to say that I did get the spot, but I didn’t. I was quite disappointed when I, along with thousands of other Canadians, didn’t get chosen with the honour of being part of the chain of ordinary Canadians to help bring the torch to the games.

That quickly changed when the flame arrived in Canada and the torch relay across our beautiful country began. I got hooked. So now I have a new addiction to confess. Between writing to meet my new deadlines I love to watch the torch on my computer as it makes its way across Canada.

I may not be one of the lucky ones who will run with the flame, but I plan to follow it as much as I can. The torch will be arriving in Ottawa in a few weeks and I have plans to go to one of the events and cheer along with everyone else.

If you also want to follow the torch along with me go to TORCH RELAY


  1. LeeAnn, you're carrying that torch in spirit! I hope that next time Can gets the Olympics that you'll get to carry that Torch!

  2. LeeAnn - they missed a great opportunity in not choosing you. Hannah Howell

  3. Your dedication should have warranted a turn with the torch! I hope if it returns to Canada you'll have the opportunity, Leann! I'm psyched about the Olympics. I love watching the winter sports best.

  4. For some reason, the crowd control people here in Halifax were - shall we say - overwhelmed when Sidney Crosby drew a massive mob to watch him carry the torch. LOL! His 'run' was more of a crowded-mall shuffle, but still unbelievably special. There was a surreal thrill for me, watching the Olympic torch pass by the streets where I walk each day. I've been watching the trek coverage, too - I love seeing all the regular folk as well as the Sidney Crosby's beaming with insane joy to carry the Olympic flame. It really does make me feel attached to the flame, and when it lights up the Games I'll have shivers running up and down my back.

  5. Really looking forward to the Olympics, too, and love the lovely BC location. It may inspire us to move back to the PNW - American side. :)

    Sorry you didn't get to carry the torch, but good for you for trying.


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