Sunday, March 7, 2010

Paralympic Torch Relay - Toronto

On Friday, after only being home from Vancouver 2010 for a day, I decided to head to downtown Toronto for the Paralympic Torch Relay.  The Paralympics will begin on March 12 in Vancouver, BC.  The Torch Relay and Celebration was held at Nathan Phillips Square, same location as the Olympic Torch Relay Celebration back in December.

Guests of Honour included Toronto Mayor David Miller and David Onley

This Torch Relay is a bit different from the Olympic Torch Relay.  For one thing is it smaller and shorter in duration of time.  It began on March 3rd in Ottawa and will end in Vancouver on March 12th at the Opening Ceremony.  There is no ancestral home for the Paralymic flame so Vancouver 2010 has created their own ritual for the lighting of the flame. There will be 10 community celebrations up to March 12th. "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". (Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay)

In Toronto there were 40 Torchbearers who carried the flame around Nathan Phillips Square. I met up with Cindy, a Torchbearer from the Olympic Torch Relay, who I met through my blog.  She came down with her son and we all showed our support for the great athletes about to take part in the Paralympics in just over a weeks time. 

Cindy chats with Cynthia Mulligan from City TV

Luckily it was a beautiful, sort of warm day in Toronto so we were able to stay outside for the duration of the celebration. Entertainment was  provided throughout the entire Torch Relay and you could try out Sledge Hockey on the ice rink.  RBC had a booth where you could get your photo taken with the Paralympic Torch. It differs in colour from the Torch we saw during the Olympic Torch Relay. It is blue in colour, with the Torchbearer uniforms matching the colour of the Torch.  The red mittens they wore also had a different design on the front.

Paralympic Torchbearer uniform and Torch

I really wish I could also attend the Paralympics as I think their events would be amazing to watch, especially that Sledge Hockey! That looks so hard.  Ticket prices are very reasonable and there are some left for certain events. You can check out the Vancouver 2010 site to see what is available.
If anyone is going to be attending the Paralympic Games and wants to send me posts on the experience, I will publish them on my blog as guest posts under the senders name.

For all photos from the days events, click here.

Trying out Sledge Hockey at Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto, ON.

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