It was snowing lightly, which made the day look even more Canadian. The street was blocked off so it was a challenge to park the car but soon my husband Tom and I were sprinting to the Town Hall for our meeting to get our instructions, safety tips and then out to the shuttle for our Olympic torches!
We had about an hour for photos with family, friends, and the Mayor Sandra Heins (shown right, in red) - even Santa Claus came by to wish us all well.
We all talked about the journey we had travelled to reach this moment in history - how and why we applied to be torch bearers, why we thought we were chosen in the contest, entering either through RBC, Coca Cola, or being nominated by our work or government.
(Most of us had written essays on how we were going to improve Canada environmentally, saving energy, composting or how we were improving fitness our own or that of youth in organized sports, such as hockey and tennis or skiing.)
In the Company of an Olympian
Then it was time to go to the shuttle bus that took us all to our spots along the route. In our group was one of the 300 Canadian Olympians carrying the torch this year: Tam Matthews, now headmaster of Ashbury College in Ottawa, who was on the Canadian Sailing Team in the Olympic Summer Games of 1980, 1984 and 1996.
As I was dropped at my spot, I was greeted by Pasquale Ricciuti, my Broker/Manager from Century21 Action Power Team, friends and family.
It all went so fast... someone tested my torch, the media vans went by, and I went to greet Barb Danford, from Cambellford, Ontario a proud employee from McDonalds in Trenton who just had a momentous year turning 50, celebrating her 30th wedding anniversary and then this .... who could ask for more? She passed the flame to me and I was off. Focused on my 300 metres.
It was over quickly in the physical realm but it will never be over in my spirit. Each experience such as this changes a person forever. I truly hope that each and everyone has the opportunity someday to do something like carrying an Olympic torch in their lifetime, I know I would not have traded it for the world.
Carol Jefferies is a sales representative with Century 21 Action Power Team Ltd. in Ottawa, Ontario.