One of the most anticipated events of the 2010 Olympics took a dry run through the Fraser Valley yesterday.

A practice Olympic torch relay started in Hope yesterday morning and ran, wheeled and even paddled its way east to Abbotsford.

Bet Tuason, 54, was chosen to carry the unlit torch and pretend to light the community cauldron during a mock celebration event in Chilliwack.

“Wow,” said Tuason. “Exultation. It’s hard to express the joy that you feel. I know it’s a test, but you feel the vibe of the crowd.”

Tuason is in a wheelchair and volunteers in hospitals counselling people who have suffered spinal cord injuries.

“I’m so proud of him,” said May, his daughter.

“Tears were in my eyes, seeing everyone cheer around him. It makes myself and the whole family really proud of him and what this country is about to undertake.”

The test run visited seven communities and even crossed the Fraser River by canoe to Seabird Island.

“For many, this will be a chance for a community to feel and sense the Olympic Games right on their doorstep,” said VANOC CEO John Furlong.

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