Cornwall all set to Host Olympic Flame by Richard Komorowski – December 14, 2009 – Cornwall Ontario

Cornwall all set to Host Olympic Flame by Richard Komorowski – December 14, 2009 – Cornwall Ontario

flameO CORNWALL – For 21 days, the Province of Ontario hosts the Olympic Flame as it makes its marathon journey around Canada. While in Ontario, the flame will travel 5450 kilometres between centres of population safely in a van, but for another 900 km a relay of 2900 torchbearers will carry it proudly through 232 communities, and another 20 First Nation communities.

According to Sarah Mulhall, the Ontario Regional Route Coordinator, who has so far followed the torch throughout its journey, there’s a lot more work than just driving (or flying) around Canada with the flame. In this province alone, some 2900 individual torch bearers must all be coordinated, so they are set up and waiting at the right time and place for their moment of glory. Routes through towns need to be planned, police escorts arranged, and streets blocked off so runners and spectators can stay safe.

When asked about some of the more memorable moments of the relay, Sarah remembered fondly the welcome the team received in the small native community of Atlin, in northern British Columbia. “The population was only about 200, but the entire village was waiting with the flame and ran with it.”

Cornwall, too, has found a permanent place in Sarah’s memory. On Friday she had an ultrasound at the CCH and saw her new baby for the first time.

Designing the torch route was a challenge itself. “…we wanted to include as many Canadians as possible,” said John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer, Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). “It is our hope and dream to unite this country and bring Canadians closer together to discover the many cultures and perspectives that make up our nation. We will share the Olympic Flame with young and old, northern and southern, eastern and western — and everyone in between — in order to make these truly Canada’s Games and ones where everyone can celebrate with glowing hearts.”

In general, when the flame arrives at a town or village along the route, the convoy stops and the flame is carried by a team of runners through the community, before the flame continues its journey to the next community.

Cornwall, partly because of its dynamism and commitment to sports of all sorts, is one of only 42 communities in Ontario that will be hosting a special Olympic Flame party.

The flame will leave Ottawa before daylight, at 6:50 am, and travel through Orleans, Rockland, Hammond and Limoges before arriving at Casselman at about 10:12 am. After a tour through Casselman, it’s straight down the 138, arriving at the junction of 138 and Cornwall Centre Road at 11:00 am. At this point the relay runners will once again pick up the flame, running down Pitt Street to Lamoureux Park.

Activities at the park will commence at 11:00 am, and the main flame cauldron will be lit at around noon. Brian St. Pierre, accompanied by choirs from St. Joe’s and la Citadel will sing Cornwall’s Olympic Song, “From Cornwall to Vancouver”. There will also be dance performances by performers from Awkwasne, and the MacCollough Highland Dancers. Grand Chief Mike Mitchell will be on hand to welcome the flame.

Following the celebration, the torch, this time carried by a group of about twenty local doctors, will travel west on Water Street to Brookdale, and then off to Cornwall Island.

In 1999, the IOC took on a mandate to “strengthen the inclusion of women, youth and Indigenous peoples in the Games.” Indigenous participation in past Games, such as Calgary and Salt Lake City, focused primarily on ceremonies and cultural programs. The Vancouver Organizing Committee has been working hard with BC First Nations in an effort to make their participation more than mere tokenism.

However, the inclusion of Akwasasne in the effort to involve all Canadians in the Winter Olympics, will give the relay organisers a unique logistics nightmare. What happens if the Olympic Flame runs out of fuel in the line up on the bridge to get through Customs? Will they have to cancel the Olympics?

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6 Comments on "Cornwall all set to Host Olympic Flame by Richard Komorowski – December 14, 2009 – Cornwall Ontario"

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Trent Tulip
The Olympics are little more than a corporate festival and a human circus… Why such community hysteria and such a rush to flush millions upon millions of dollars down the drain, to support the Olympics (Trademark Registered and Copyrighted) and the fat partying smug elitists on the committee? Wouldn’t it be better that Canada take the podium to mark victory over famine and disease? Surely a nation like Canada bathed in wealth and resources could put on a better show than the shallow, sexist, narcissistic, swindle and orgy of an Olympics. If health and fitness were our aim, the money… Read more »

Thank God that my glass is half full…

What an unfortunate view Trent has on something so special. There is no doubt that in society today, money is spent in outragious fashion on outlandish projects. That being said, any initiative that sponsors and promotes the competition of people on a world stage, without involving armaments or bloodshed deserves more respect than that. Having any association with a world class event such as the festivities in Cornwall today, is a tremendous boost to something more valuable than money. It has infused the communnity with a sense of patriotism as well as unity. I was at Lamoureux park this morning.… Read more »
The Watcher
To Trent Tulip Every point you make is more or less valid. However, if we were all to do as you suggest, what sort of world would we have? Rather drab and weary, I would think. And yes, you are quite right, we need to solve the problems you mention, and more besides, and we need to start working on them now, because soon it will be too late. But do you really begrudge the world a little fun, a chance to see some of the best athletes in the world (regardless that most of them are professional), and to… Read more »
Trent Tulip
It’s not so much the problems of the world, as the tendency to look away from them, and the “olympian” willingness to pay millions upon millions of dollars for a distraction is something worth noting. Not to begrudge anyone a little fun… but there’s something lacking when a hoax such as the modern Olympics (Incorporated and Trademark Registered) are seen as the expression of a higher ideal. The Olympics are a commercial stage for nationalistic chest thumping, and too often an exhibition of competitors that are certifiable obsessives — but stunted social growth and physical deformation aren’t the stuff of… Read more »

If we listen to Trent, it would seem that it’s all about money. I think he’d like us to go back to Roman times and the Arena. Lions loved it, there was no shortage of Christians (No ketchup either).
You know, a funny thing happened on my way to the Forum……I realized that is was free to everyone and there was no shortage of participants who’s view was indeed unfortunate!