They came from many different walks of life, backgrounds, and communities – but yesterday, 187 people in the Halifax Regional Municipality shared a unique experience they will likely never forget.
One after another, they carried the Olympic torch through the streets of HRM, each jogging or walking 300 metres before handing it off to the next person. By the time it was over, the flame had travelled 157 kilometres through 13 communities.
Cheering crowds lined the streets along the route, many waving Canadian flags and sporting official Vancouver 2010 Olympic mittens. They poured out of office buildings, coffee shops and homes to watch as the relay caravan passed.
In Dartmouth, environmental advocate Tamara Lorincz carried the torch along Alderney Dr.
“I’m really excited to know that I’m running with 12,000 other Canadians who have made a commitment to make a better world,” Lorincz said.
Cia Tweel, who carried the torch up Quinpool Rd. during the afternoon, described the whole event as “like an out-of-body experience.”
“I feel so honoured and so grateful,” said Tweel, who teaches fitness classes throughout Halifax. “On the way over here, they were showing us the picture of the torch coming from Greece and I was tearing up.”
Like many torchbearers, Tweel applied online for a chance to carry the flame in her hometown.
“We all had to make a pledge, and my pledge was that I would help Canadians get fit one person at a time,” she said.
After several minutes of nervous anticipation, Tweel took the flame from torchbearer Evan MacLean, who had just finished running up a huge hill near the Armdale Rotary.
A winded MacLean barely had a chance to speak before being whisked away in a shuttle carrying the torchbearers along the route.
“It’s was absolutely amazing,” he shouted as an official extinguished his torch and he boarded the bus. “The experience of a lifetime!”