Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Manitobans carry a torch for the flame

Olympic torch relay continues on to communities across Manitoba

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The 2010 Olympic torch left Winnipeg on Thursday, overnighting in Portage la Prairie and destined for enthusiastic welcomes in several other Manitoba cities today.

Facing early morning temperatures of -21 C, and a wind chill of -38, Aimee Carvey began the day's trek at 8 a.m. from Minto Armouries.

Waiting to meet her 300 metres west on St. Matthews Avenue was 1988 Calgary Olympics ski jumper Eddie (the Eagle) Edwards, who would take the flame from her.

Edwards had no second thoughts about the bitter cold. "Oh no," he said, holding the torch. "I am not even feeling the cold at this moment."

Edwards was Great Britain's first and only ski jumper at the Calgary Games and, despite the fact he finished almost dead last, his popularity at those Games made him an Olympic icon.

"This is wonderful," said Edwards, with dozens of excited Winnipeggers cheering him on. "It's almost as good as competing in Calgary 22 years ago, only a lot safer. I just hope I don't fall down and drop it, or anything like that.

"I am immensely proud and honoured to be invited back to Canada and be a part of the whole Olympic dream again," said Edwards.

The torch made its way through the West End and down Portage Avenue, reaching Polo Park Shopping Centre by 8:25 a.m.

Turning off Portage Avenue at the Perimeter Highway, the torch was driven to Oak Bluff, where Jody Champagne, a Domino's Pizza manager, took it from there for his 300-metre section of the relay.

"I'm freezing," said Champagne, who said he would pay the $400 fee to keep the torch, "but, oh yeah, it (carrying the torch) was sure worth it."

From Oak Bluff, the torch wound its way down Highway 3 through southern Manitoba, making stops in Sanford, Carman and Morden before spending the night in Portage la Prairie.

Today, the torch is scheduled to hit places like Dakota Tipi First Nation, Gladstone, Neepawa, CFB Shilo and Brandon on its way through southern Manitoba and westward to its home at the Winter Olympics Feb. 12-28 in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C.

Brandon East NDP MLA Drew Caldwell was chosen to carry the torch through an online contest from national sponsor RBC. He said he's bound to be overwhelmed by butterflies as the torch approaches him tonight.

"Don't trip. Don't stumble. Make sure you've got a good transfer of the torch. All these things are in your head," he said. "So I'm going to be very, very careful, but very excited. I'm just thrilled to have been chosen and to be able to do it in Brandon."

Caldwell said he has already decided to purchase his torch, which will either become a "family or a community heirloom."

The torch is expected to arrive at its Brandon starting point in Dinsdale Park at about 5:45 p.m. A detailed route of the torch's trek through Brandon can be found online (at vancouver2010.com). Due to the extreme cold forecast for today, the local organizing committee has moved the cultural celebration indoors to Brandon's Keystone Centre.

-- With files from Brandon Sun

allan.besson@freepress.mb.ca

 

Holding it high Day 70: Winnipeg to Portage la Prairie

(Torchbearer list subject to change)

Aimee Carvey

Eddie Edwards

Jennine Thaddeus

Charlotte Pennell

Don Binne

Cathy Sauder

Catherine Prusak

Irene Chomiak

Jeff Kerr

Chris Newman

Marg Wilson

Ronald Grant Evans

Denis Brodeur

Dylan Passaggio

Brent Hill

David Mark

Laird Sutherland

Dustin Boyechko

Marianne Korhonen

Elizabeth McCallum

Tracy Czoch

Randall Craddock

Sheila Flemmer

Phil Adamo

Jamieson Stock

Jennifer Denesyk

Alexandre Ross-Gautron

Gail Asper

Sylvia Kuzyk

Kevin Olszewski

Jody Champagne

Darren Hall

Tiffany Froese

Mireille Collet-Lachance

Robert Kudajczyk

Rick Bent

Tyler Warden

Glenn Rossong

Angela Doerksen

Gene Gelmich

Joel Marcon

Raymond Friesen

Sheryl de Leon

David Deighton

Kevin Branch

Todd Hughes

Matthieu Webb

Maria-Aileen Madden

Colleen Zacharias

Kylie Bard

Tyler Bargen

Curtis Bamford

Tyler Rody

Edward Kaulbach

Ken Leslie

Lindsay Baker

George Petranick

Brandi Parnell

Steve Friesen

Kim Krahn

Rosa Menjivar

Trevor Westwood

Billy Martens

Daljit Singh Sidhu

Frank Wilson

Karen Doell

Kaili Gilroy

Mike Kananoja

Michael Saunders

Dwayne Richard

Daryl Fagnan

Diana Stout

Regina Olazo

Bennett Laurel

Ian Bell

Andrea Malcolm

Bryce Malcolm

Paul Huntington

Cory Jackson

Djahl Kristjanson

Dylan Loucks

Jayme Tully

Amy Hampton

Andrew Rhoden

Stephanie Foy

Norva Riddell

Chelsea Bothe

Munther Zeid

Marina McGlenen

Lauryn Keen

Ian Bawa

Philip Grandmont

John Coutts

Nikole Schoenborn

Brad Chambers

Shauna Arnott

Jodi Bodnarchuk

Leanne Straker

Debbie Ritchot

Cheryle Knutson

Caleb Hofer

Stephen Pratt

Israel Binnun

Kimberly Friesen

Gail Cielen

Diane Bell

David Rew

Kris Cherewyk

Jo-Anne McRae

Patricia Woodman-Hooker

Danielle Ethier

Orville Smoke

Caitlin Genaille

Ross Naringahon

Josh Eagle

Lynley Davidson

Robert Obirek

Lucy Brancati

Edmund Smith

Dan Robertson

Coleen Soos

Guy Moffat

Alvin Ogilvie

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 8, 2010 A7

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