Local teen excited for chance to carry the torch - Metro US

Local teen excited for chance to carry the torch

The Olympic torch passed through Halifax as the Vancouver 2010 organizing team named the first Nova Scotian who will carry the famous flame on its cross-Canada journey next year.

Katie Willoughby, a 14-year-old from Port Williams, got the nod earlier this week.

The Horton High student bolstered her chances by setting a goal of 375 minutes of physical activity a week.

“I was very excited,” she said.

Willoughby is likely to carry the torch for 400 metres near her Valley home. She lists volleyball and soccer as her favourite sports, but said she likes winter activities, too.

“I usually watch the Summer Olympics, but I downhill ski, too,” she said.

Willoughby posed for photos with the torch and chatted with kids at the “Carry the Flame” RV parked outside the YMCA on South Park Street. The truck has a display of torches from all of the modern Olympics and a Wii-style game allowing people to go for a winter run. They also set up a street hockey zone next to the Y.

Kirsten Milhailides of the Olympic Project Team emphasized that anyone can apply to carry the torch by going to Sogoactive.com. In all, 12,000 people will hoist the torch, with 1,000 coming from the Sogo Active program Willoughby came through.

“We want to let Canadians know that anyone can do it. Some people say, ‘Oh, I could never do it.’ But absolutely you can,” Milhailides said. “Just be a little bit more active, be a little bit more green.”

After arriving from Olympia, Greece, the torch will travel 45,000 kilometers across Canada over 100 days next fall, travelling from coast to coast to coast. It will start the Games by lighting the Olympic flame in BC Place on Feb. 12, 2010.

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