Monday, November 23, 2009

Olympic Torch Relay- Vancouver 2010

photo by Adam Huras - the Telegraph Journal
Lto R - Jean-Luc, myself and Doreen Nowlan-Gallant

Today was full of excitement as I had the honor to share in the Olympic Flame with the communities of Cap-Pelé, Shediac and Moncton, NB, as an official torchbearer during day-25 of the Olympic Torch Relay of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games.

In 1976, I watched the Olympic Torch Relay make it's way through the streets of Montreal on route to the stadium while the opening ceremonies were taking place. My 14 and a half year old son Jean-Luc is exactly the same age I was then, and today had the opportunity to stand besides me in my 1988 Calgary torchbearer's suit and witness the lighting of my torch firsthand, becoming a full-circle moment for me.
As we were only three torchbearers in the village of Cap-Pelé, it was a more intimate and personal experience. When I received the flame and passed it on, I got to hear our national anthem of ''O Canada'' each time; first from the crowd, then by the children from the elementary school. During both times we stood at attention and touched the tip of our torches high as two flames became one. When I got to run my leg of the relay, the Olympic spirit within me was beaming brighter than the torch itself.

People were so enthusiastic both along the course and the festivities later held in community celebrations in Shediac and my hometown of Moncton, where cauldrons were lit. My torch which I got to keep, became a symbol of the Olympic spirit and in turn I would become an ambassador of sorts in sharing my experience with everybody around me. I was more than happy to let anybody hold the torch as I had my photo taken with several hundred people, from babies, tots, kids, teens, adult and seniors. Many school took a two-hour break so the school kids would have a chance to witness a moment in history.

The true meaning to this most memorable day in my life will truly reveal itself when the Olympic flame reaches Vancouver on February 12 and enters the stadium on route to the cauldron. As it happened during the Calgary Olympiads, my heart will be bursting with pride. Thank you RBC, Coca-Cola and the wonderful team behind this monumental event.


  1. How exciting for you, Alvin!!!

    Your passion for your country bursts through in this post!

    How neat that you get to keep your torch too!

    Thanks for sharing!


  2. Congratulations, Alvin. Such a special and memorable event in your life! Thanks for the pictures.

  3. Hi Dean, thanks for checking in, actually I had the option to buy the torch, which I was a no brainer, and Yes, I not only love my country, I'm fortunate to live here.

    Take Care Dean, chin up!

  4. Hi Joanne, thanks so much for you comment. As it turned out, I was the feature torchbearer for Day 25. The top photo was part of a feature article for Day-25 of the torch relay and appeared in newspapers across Canada (Calgary Herald, the Edmonton Journal, The Ottawa Citizen, the Montreal Gazette and the Vancouver Sun among others). It was one of the best days of my life.

  5. Hey Alvin.

    You took a picture with my daughter and me. It took forever to find out who you were, but finally a couple of my cousins were able to name you. I think it's so cool that you got to carry the torch and I don't blame you for buying it! No brainer indeed!!

    Here's the link to the picture that you took with my daughter.

  6. Hi Emma & her Dad,
    Thanks for sharing this great moment, and making all this effort to contact me. It was a day I will always remember!