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Torchbearer following in mother’s footsteps

Few people can say being an Olympic torchbearer is a family tradition, but Neil Harbun is one of them.

Few people can say being an Olympic torchbearer is a family tradition, but Neil Harbun is one of them.

Harbun, 21, has been selected by Coca-Cola Canada as the first torchbearer for the 2010 Olympic torch relay.

It kicks off in Victoria on Friday.

“I’m not nervous now, but I might be when I get there,” he said. “I don’t want to trip or something.”

Harbun’s selection comes almost 22 years after his mother, Deb Roy — who had given birth to Harbun just 50 hours earlier — carried the Olympic torch for Calgary’s 1988 Winter Games.

“She’s been talking about it non-stop,” said Harbun. “She says it was the most enjoyable experience.”

Harbun, who grew up playing almost every sport offered at his school, played football for the Vancouver Island Raiders last year. He now studies science at the University of Manitoba and hopes to go into the healthcare sector when he graduates.

Harbun said he can’t wait to be a part of the Olympics — even if it’s just as a torchbearer.

“It would have been nice to participate as an athlete too,” he joked. “But this is huge ... I’m very lucky.”

 
 
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