For most people, carrying the Olympic torch is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but Julie Caissie is limbering up for the second time. She carried the flame in Calgary in 1988 and will do it again on Cole Harbour Road with the Vancouver flame on Nov. 18.
The 51-year-old logged onto the relay website daily to enter the competition, but was stumped when she reached the essay round. Her daughter Lindsay provided the spark for “I Have a Confession to Make,” her torch-winning treatise.
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“It said I no longer get up at six in the morning to go running, I can no longer take on the provincial 200-metre hurdle champion and win, and I look at the clothes I wore when I was athlete of the year and can’t figure out how I ever fit into them,” she recalls with a laugh.
Now, she’s a “mother of sports,” one of the parents who sit in rinks for hours watching their children fall 1,000 times, “just to make sure they don’t miss the first time they do it,” says Caissie, who owns the Cole Harbour Canadian Tire.
It convinced the flame keepers.
The former figure skater won’t be the only Cole Harbour skater carrying the torch next week: Sidney Crosby will take a shift the same day.
Halifax West High School student Sarah MacLeod is more used to wrestling with opponents than fire, as the 17-year-old “sports minister” for the school also grapples for the Warriors.
“People assume I figure skate or do ballet. When I say I wrestle, they laugh at me,” the five-foot-three athlete says. No one was laughing when she won the provincial silver medal last season.
She’s pretty excited about carrying the Olympic torch, too.
“I didn’t think it was something that would ever be possible for me to do,” she says. MacLeod will carry the torch on Citadel Hill on Nov 20.