Hayley Wickenheiser

Calgarians will be dreaming of Olympic glory today with Petro-Canada’s Dream Big Contest taking place on Stephen Avenue.

The contest is designed to spark the creativity and passion for sport by challenging residents to pitch their ideas for the next Olympic sport — whether it’s silly or serious — to a panel of judges.

And who better to rate the entries than two-time Olympic gold-medal winner and women’s hockey forward Hayley Wickenheiser, one of the judges on the local panel.

“I think it will be fun. It should be interesting what kind of ideas people come up with. It could be a serious sport or something totally wacky, which is a lot of fun,” Wickenheiser told Metro.

She said ideas could range from pillow-fighting to bottle cap-throwing and that contestants will be judged on their presentation and creativity.

“Hopefully people stop by and have a laugh. We’re hoping to raise awareness for the summer Olympics in Beijing and the winter Olympics coming up in Vancouver shortly too.”

Winners from the Calgary challenge will go head-to-head with winners from Vancouver, Montréal and Toronto for a chance to present their idea to the Canadian Olympic Committee and win a trip for two to the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games.

The 20 contestants will have two minutes to pitch their ideas in front of judges and spectators today at Stephen Avenue Walk (in front of The Bay) from 11 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.