The Manitoba Hydro Torch Relay kicks off on June 23rd in, Steinbach, Manitoba’s 3rd largest city.
Sixteen torchbearers will carry the torch on a five-kilometre relay down North Front Drive to Main Street, down Reimer Avenue, Brandt Street, back to Main Street and end where it began, the Manitoba Hydro office on North Front Drive.
The Manitoba Hydro Torch Relay carries the excitement of the Games throughout Manitoba. The torch was lit in Ottawa on June 6, 2017 for the official lighting ceremony and will travel to 11 communities around the province, as well as to Kenora, Ontario. The torch will then make its way through central Winnipeg, ending with a celebration at Manitoba Hydro Place on July 26, 2017.
Two local Canada Games alumni were chosen as torchbearers for Steinbach.
“It really has sunk in the last couple weeks what a big honour it is to be one of the few selected to carry the torch in my community,” says Jared Driedger, Team Manitoba’s catcher for baseball during the 1997 Canada Summer Games.
Driedger’s favourite Games moments comes from that summer when he caught the ceremonial first pitch.
“I never realized how special that moment was,” said Driedger. “But going back now, as a torchbearer, hopefully I can explain to my kids how cool it was to represent my province at the Games.”
Michelle Sawatzky-Koop’s favourite Games moment was the Opening Ceremonies for the 1989 Canada Summer Games in Saskatoon.
“I think the Opening Ceremonies convinced me that this was even a bigger deal than I thought and this was something I wanted to do again,” she said.
She won three National Championships playing volleyball for the University of Manitoba, bronze at the 1989 Canada Games, bronze at the 1995 Pan Am Games and finished 9th at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta with the women’s volleyball team of Canada.
Sawatzky-Koop grew up in Steinbach and regrets that she didn’t apply to carry the Olympic torch when it passed through her hometown for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
“Being Steinbach's only Olympic athlete so far, I love to represent my home town whenever and wherever I can,” she said. “I understand, from personal experience, what these Games can mean for so many young people, so I am humbled to be able to carry that flame that represents so much, even for a short time.”
The relay starts at 10:30 a.m. at Manitoba Hydro office (175 North Front Drive, Steinbach MB) and will end where it begins. After the relay, join us for a community celebration BBQ at 12:00. This event is open to all, so come cheer on our torchbearers and feel the excitement of the Canada Summer Games in Steinbach!