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9 days 18 hours to the Paralympics – The Torch Relay has started!

March 4, 2010

Well, it finally happened… I missed a day.  I made it through the challenge to myself to write every day starting 210 days before the Olympic Opening Ceremonies.  I even somehow managed to write every day during the Olympics which I’m very proud of.  It was really difficult some days!  But last night we had a volunteer party and I had a bit of a slow day today and even though I had intended on writing this morning (still within the 24 hour period I’ve allowed myself) I just didn’t.  And it occurred to me that it was bound to happen eventually so why not then.  In total I wrote for 228 days in a row!  And I do intend on writing every day from now until the end of the Paralympics.  Actually, I am hoping to start a new project and continue writing every day after Vancouver 2010 is done.  But I was glad for the break and feel ready to get back at it again!  So… here goes!

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The Paralympic Torch was lit in Ottawa today.  This was a very different ceremony from the Olympic Torch Relay as there is no traditional home of the Paralympic Games.  I really like how the lighting of the Torch has been planned.  Here is what Vancouver 2010 says about the Paralympic Torch Relay:

Unlike the Olympic Flame, the Paralympic Flame has no ancestral home, so the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay will include the local First Nations communities of the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn and Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg to light the Paralympic Flame on their territory in a Lighting Ceremony in Ottawa on March 3, 2010.

During the Lighting Ceremony, elders from the two First Nations will create and light the Paralympic Flame. The flame will then be brought to Parliament Hill for an event from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. Dignitaries and guests will attend the ceremony, which will also feature entertainment. A total of 16 torchbearers, including 13 selected ambassadors from each Canadian province and territory, will run the first legs of the 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay.

The flame will be extinguished at the conclusion of the relay. During the 10-day relay, local First Nations will create a new Paralympic Flame for each celebration community. Ashes from the 10 community Paralympic Torch Relay fires will form the foundation for the final fire to be lit by a Musqueam First Nation fire keeper. The final Paralympic Flame will be lit from this fire and will be used to light the Paralympic Cauldron at the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games at BC Place.”

There were 16 Torchbearers today, one to represent each of our 13 provinces and territories and one each to represent the Paralympic movement, Vancouver 2010 and the aboriginal community of Canada.  The Torch will travel to Montreal tomorrow and Toronto on Friday before coming to British Columbia on Saturday.  The relay is 10 days long and will have around 600 Torchbearers.  The Torch is the same shape as the Olympic Torch but is blue in colour, as are the Torchbearers uniforms.  They’re really quite snazzy.  The other exciting thing is that Sumi is out for the first time in nearly three weeks.  During the Olympics Sumi stayed at home and let the Olympic Mascots Quatchi and Miga take centre stage, but now they’re at home cheering Sumi on.  If you have a chance you should get out and see the Torch Relay, it should be great!

Representing British Columbia Torchbearer Rick Mercer!! (Photo from CTV).

Paralympic Torch Relay Schedule:

  • March 3 – Ottawa
  • March 4 – Montreal
  • March 5 – Toronto
  • March 6 – Esquimalt and Victoria
  • March 7 – Squamish
  • March 8 – Whistler
  • March 9 – Lytton and Hope
  • March 10 – Vancouver (Riley Park) and Maple Ridge
  • March 11 – Vancouver (UBC)
  • March 12 – 24 hour relay in Vancouver

The 24 relay will start in Robson Square at 2pm on Thursday, March 11 and the Flame will be passed continuously until the 12th.  For more information on the Paralympic Torch Relay please visit Vancouver 2010.

Sumi - the Paralympic Mascot! (Photo from

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Alright – here’s the list of venues that I believe will be open during the Paralympics.

That’s all I can think of right now, but I will update you as I find out more.  I have heard rumours that the Royal Canadian Mint will be staying open and I think the Austria Passive House in Whistler may be open to.  I’ll do some investigating and let you know.

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Right then.  Snooze time for me.  Thank you merci, and if you haven’t already done so make sure to get yourself and your family some tickets to at least one Paralympic event.  The tickets are really well priced and there are going to be some great competitions!!  I have a bit of volunteer shift changing to sort out but I already have tickets for sledge hockey, biathlon and alpine skiing.  I still would like to get tickets for wheelchair curling and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Bob permalink
    March 4, 2010 12:22 am

    I already have bought tickets to the Opening Ceremonies and the Sledge Hockey Semi-Final. At $30 you cannot lose. I am in the row at the Opening Ceremonies of the Paralympics as I was at the Olympics, but I paid $520 less ($550 vs. $30)! So, people keep the party going … buy tickets for the Paralympics!

    I spoke to someone at the Royal Mint the evening of the Closing Ceremonies. The Royal Mint will remain open but not in the same location as their lease for that building expired at the end of the Olympics. They were looking for a smaller venue. The lady said the medals will be their for viewing … you just will not be able to touch them.

    The last day of the Pin Trading Centre at YVR was today. However, the Pin Trading Centre at the Olympic Superstore at the Bay will remain open until the end of the Paralympics.

  2. March 4, 2010 12:22 am

    Thanks for dat continued commitment on keeping us posted on stuff. I heard da Royal Canadian Mint was gonna be open and have dem medals viewing again but at another location, they didn’t say where…soon to be announced.

    Congrats on never missing a day. until yesterday.wink.

    YOU DID IT…and SOME!!!

    You going on dat zipline!!WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

  3. keith77cdn permalink
    March 4, 2010 12:30 am

    i hoping buy some sledge hockey tickets and if there was a bus service for no chagre to whister i would buy tickets for some events there too. Im in the opening and its be fun but wont say anything just say im a cast member and too bad yaletown gone since i like that live site.

  4. keith77cdn permalink
    March 4, 2010 2:53 pm

    now they talking about we should try get worldcup of soccer at 2026 and maybe summer olympics in 2020 or 2030 and maybe bring back expo agian since we did so well and we want more big events

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