Sunday, December 20, 2009

Olympic Torch Relay Georgetown, ON - December 19, 2009

My Mom had always wanted us to go to the Olympic Torch Relay when it passed through Georgetown, ON, a community about an hour north and a bit west of Toronto. I hesitated agreeing to go but then finally decided to do it after a portion of the Toronto relay was diverted. Now, having been to Georgetown I’m happy that my Mom pushed so hard for us to go. It was an amazing place to see the torch for the first time and I was touched to see the amount of community spirit Georgetown has for Canada and for these Olympic Winter Games.

Georgetown was an early stop on the route on Saturday, December 19th. I met my parents in Brampton at 6am and we left for Georgetown right away. Driving through the city to get to the Torch route, quite a few store signs announced the arrival of the Torch and invited everyone to attend. Bleachers had even been put up in front of the local arena for relay spectators. As we drove by there, some people were tying a Canadian flag to the top of the bleachers.

My Mom and I settled ourselves on the route at Guelph Street and Queen Street. As we were waiting we got to talking to some of the people around us. Ken Sproule, owner of Ken’s Auto Service and his wife were out earlier than we were and struck up a conversation with us right away. Telling them we were going to Vancouver to see the Olympics, they were very excited for us. My Dad was further up the route and positioned to take video of the relay.

Coca Cola always livens things up, no matter what time it is.

We also met the family of one of the days Torchbearers, Justin Schlupp. Some of Justin’s family had travelled from Kitchener to watch him run his leg of the relay. They parked themselves in front of his post and anxiously waited for him to arrive. There were as happy and as proud as can be to have a family member participating in the Torch relay. My new friend Ken offered to get us pen and paper from his store so I could take down the info of Justin’s family member. Then Ken asked if I would send him copies of my pictures which of course I agreed to.

Justin Schlupp's family waits at his exchange point.

Adding to the community spirit was a lovely woman from the church across the street from where we were. She came around with hot chocolate twice for those of us who had chosen to stand out in the cold to watch this great event happen. I couldn’t help but think this would never happen in Toronto. Everyone was very cheery for an early, cold Saturday morning.

You know the Torch is close when you see this.

The first signs of the convoy arrived around 7:30am with the Coca Cola and RBC trucks getting everyone more worked up. It was a great site to see after being disappointed at the Toronto relay. Soon after, we could see the Torchbearer coming over the hill and running towards us. Carrying the torch proudly and running at a good speed, she stopped as she got to Justin. They posed for pictures and I believe a photo was taken of Justin and his family before Justin was off and running, his family yelling support and running after him. Once Justin turned the corner at Mill Street, my Mom and I took off running. Spotting my Dad running up Guelph Street we followed him and got to the top of the street in time to see the convoy and Torchbearer again. This was the end of the route and from here the Torchbearers were shuttled back to wherever they had started. It was a great morning made all the better by the community spirit of the people from Georgetown. I’m so happy that I was a part of it. Thank you very much Georgetown. What a great event you hosted for the Olympics’ and for us.
For additional photos from the Georgetown, ON relay, click here.

The Torch handoff to Justin.

One of many signs announcing the arrival of the Torch.


  1. I love your blog Christina! And I agree, it was such a wonderful place to be that day!
    Take care,

  2. Thank you so much Johanne. It's always nice to hear from people. Please keep reading as I get closer to my trip. I'll be blogging every day that I am in Vancouver for the second week of the Olympics.

  3. Good morning,

    I was the next in line, Justin lit my torch and I have to say it was such an amazing experience. It made you feel so much Canadian pride. Although they were cheering for me, it was extremely humbling to see the love for the Olympics, for Canada and for each other. Just the way it should be all the time. I loved every minute.

    Kind regards,

    Stephanie Allard

  4. I felt the same way just from watching it. I'm amazed every time that people come out to see the Olympic Torch go by.
    I agree, that is the way it should be all the time.
    Thank you for your comment Stephanie. What a great experience it must have been for you to run with the Torch.

  5. I worked the Olympic Torch Relay on the Coca-Cola trucks! It was such a great experience to be a part of, I'm glad you enjoyed it enough to put together this blog post! Thank you! :D

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