The torch is on its way.
Since the official lighting on June 6 in Ottawa, the torch has travelled through 10 rural communities as part of the Manitoba Hydro Torch Relay and will make its final stop in Winnipeg on July 26.
Sixty-seven torchbearers will take the Roly McLenahan torch on an 11-kilometre journey through the city’s various cultural spots. Places like Broadway, the Forks, the Exchange District, the Legislative Building and St. Boniface will be highlighted before the relay ends on Edmonton St. for a community BBQ celebration.
From over 650 applicants, the 67 torchbearers were chosen for their volunteerism, past Canada Games experience, community involvement and passion for sport.
Joe Landreville is an alumnus of five previous Canada Games. He competed in the 1987 Canada Winter Games with the Manitoba weightlifting team and went on to be a manager, official and volunteer in the following years. Now he can add torchbearer to his Games experience and is honoured to carry the torch in his host city.
Because of his experience in the 2010 Olympics torch relay, Landreville will jog his segment of the relay. “I ran with the torch,” he recalls. “I was advised to slow down and take in the experience.”
Despite being the largest community to ever host the Canada Games, Landreville believes Winnipeg’s small, community-like feel will welcome the athletes with the same warmth he received in other host cities.
As a volunteer, Landreville is looking forward to helping deliver a positive experience that will last a lifetime for the athletes and to create an atmosphere where they can perform their best.
Chris Merrithew, 17Wing Winnipeg’s Sport Coordinator, has a passion for sport and a dedication to providing military personnel with sporting opportunities to assist them in building their fitness levels and to develop unit cohesion, team work, pride and identity. Less than a month after carrying the torch, he will be deployed overseas.
Merrithew is excited to watch young athletes write their own stories in Canada Games history. He says, “Sports are an integral part of each and every Canadian and an integral part of our Canadian heritage.”
Torchbearer Firdaus Timyati doesn’t have prior experience with the Canada Games, but she demonstrates the Games spirit by encouraging her family to be active and by being a role model for a healthy lifestyle.
“You have to be the change you want to see in the world,” says Timyati, a mother of five who is committed to registering for as many five kilometre races as she can to keep herself running. She has already participated in 3 runs this year. She says, “Choose something that makes you happy and active. Be active, be healthy, be happy.”
Take part in celebrating our torchbearers on July 26 on Edmonton St. Be one of the first 1000 people to arrive between noon and 2pm and receive a free hot dog lunch provided by Rudy’s Eat and Drink. The celebration will include live performances on the Manitoba Hydro Stage and Indigenous related carnival traditional games by the Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement Centre. Our beloved mascot Niibin will be there too!