Kate Jackson has always been a fan of the Olympics games.

The 18-year-old Russell resident, whose favourite Winter Olympic sports are skiing and skating, couldn’t believe her luck when she was chosen as the National Capital Region’s first 2010 Olympic Torchbearer.

“I’m really excited,” she said yesterday, “just knowing that the flame is going through Canada, and that I’ll be a part of it.”

Jackson, who was randomly selected by Sogo Carry the Flame — a campaign which invites Canadians to get active and involved — will run between 300 and 400 metres with the flame as one of 12,000 torchbearers running across Canada next year.

The torch, which will travel 4,500 kilometres from coast to coast and as far north as Ellesmere Island, will touch 90 per cent of the Canadian population before coming in at B.C. Place Stadium for the games, said Minister of State for Sport Gary Lunn.

“It’s going to be a huge celebration of the Olympics, and a great opportunity for Canadians to get involved,” he said of the torch run. “We want people from all walks of life to be a part of the Olympics,” he said.

Designed by Bombardier, the 2010 torch’s design allows the flame to come out of the back, like a flag.

As well as generating a buzz, events like the torch run unite the country, said Papineau MP Justin Trudeau, who stopped by the event with his wife and son to show support for the Olympics.