AKWESASNE READIES FOR OLYMPIC TORCH RELAY – December 8, 2009

AKWESASNE READIES FOR OLYMPIC TORCH RELAY – December 8, 2009

AKWESASNE READIES FOR OLYMPIC TORCH RELAY
A’nonwarako:wa Arena to Host Events on December 14th

AKWESASNE, ONTARIO —In less than one week, the eyes of the world will turn to the A’nowarako:wa Arena as the Olympic Flame arrives in Akwesasne as part of the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. On December 14th, everyone is invited to come out and take part in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see and cheer on the Olympic Torch on its journey to Vancouver for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

To celebrate the arrival of the flame, the local organizing committee has planned events that will be held at the Arena. Starting at 10:45am, community members will gather inside of the Arena to participate in a community social, listen to invited speakers and watch video clips featuring highlights of the 2010 Torch Relay. The event will begin with a 45-minute demonstration by the Akwesasne Skating Club, with plans being made to conduct a live broadcast of the Torch Relay from Cornwall.

With the arrival of the Olympic Flame in City of Cornwall, Mohawk runners will run from Lamoureux Park in Cornwall to the Arena. They will run in advance of the Torch Relay with the message of the Olympic Flame. Dispatching messengers is an ancient practice of Iroquois communities and the local organizing committee is proud to have incorporated it into Akwesasne’s portion of the Torch Relay.

The day’s event will culminate with the arrival of the Olympic Flame in the early afternoon as part of a convoy of vehicles, which will include torchbearer shuttles, media vehicles, relay support vehicles and police escorts.  Temporary rolling road closures will ensure the safety of the torchbearers and spectators lining the relay route. The community will see two Akwesasne torchbearers (Mike Benedict Jr. and Erin Seymour) carry the flame for 300 meters as it travels on its 45,000-kilometre-long journey across Canada  the longest domestic torch relay in Olympic history.

The entire community of Akwesasne is invited to be part of history and to join the hundreds of local residents and students that are expected to gather on Arena Road in Kawehnoke.  All local athletes are invited to wear their team jerseys and medals proudly as we cheer on our Mohawk runners and torchbearers on December 14th.

For more information on the Torch Relay, visit www.vancouver2010.com/torchrelay.

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