Follow my journey as a Students Live reporter through the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Paralympic Torch Relay

Very exciting day!
The 2010 Paralympic torch relay began today in Ottawa. This relay will be a 10-day journey with over 600 torchbearers, and will visit 11 communities.

If you can look back to before those 17 crazy days, you'd remember that the Olympic torch relay was a 106-day journey with 12,000 torchbearers and visited 1,000 communities.

In a perfect world I would love to see the Paralympic Games to be just as big and recognized as the Olympic Games, however in reality, I don't think that's going to happen. But I do think it is a little ridiculous that the Paralympic Torch Relay is 96 days shorter, has 20 times less torchbearers and visits about one hundredth of the communities. What kind of message is that conveying to people? Do you think that this is part of the problem?

I realize that Canada has done the most out of any of the host countries to try to include the Paralympic Games, and prove that they are just as worth-while as the Olympic Games. As much as Vancouver has done though, I believe they could do a little more, and whether people would buy it, is out of anyone's control, but the effort would be nice to see. What do you think?

On a lighter note, the opening day of the Paralympic torch relay was a great one! Every one of the 13 provinces and territories sent one honourable citizen to carry the torch on the opening day.

British Columbia Rick Mercer; comedian
Alberta Dr. Robert Steadward; Founding president of the International Paralympic Committee
Saskatchewan Jasmine Gerein; daughter of seven-time Paralympian Clayton Gerein
Manitoba Jared Funk; medal-winning Paralympian
Ontario Justin Hines; singer-songwriter
Quebec Dean Bergeron; Paralympic wheelchair racer
Newfoundland and Labrador Erica Noonan; swimmmer
New Brunswick Sabrina Pettinicchi Durepos; four-time Paralympian and wheelchair basketball player
Nova Scotia Chelsea Gotell; swimmer
Prince Edward Island Colin MacLeod; ice sledge hockey player
Yukon Rick Goodfellow; advocate for the rights of people with disabilities
Northwest Territories Katherine Elkin; para-swimmer
Nunavut Simon Koomak; golfer

The Cauldron will be lit at BC Place on March 12th, tune into the Opening Ceremonies at 6:00pm to see the legacy being born.

Here is a comparison of the Paralympic and Olympic torch and uniform. They are identical, except for the colour and logos.

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