Sunday, March 7, 2010

THE PARALYMPIC TORCH RELAY


... came to Victoria today, under beautiful blue skies and sunshine -- our best spring day yet!

It started in Esquimalt, and, since most of it was happening on the water, Michael and I decided to have front row seats -- in the inflatable!

The first two torch-bearers had already carried it from the Rec Centre to Lyall Street, but we got to West Bay Marina just in time to see the third person bring it down the dock to a waiting Navy boat.

Once she was aboard, they 'place the flame' in a little lantern (by lighting it's wick, I imagine) for the trip across the harbour.

... complete with police escort!


At Laurel Point, the CFB Esquimalt dragon boat team was waiting with the next torch-bearer...

The hand-off:

And then the dragon boat proceeded to the Inner Harbour:

... where it docked, and was met by the next person:


The next hand-off, along the causeway:

We stayed with the boat, but the torch continued to the legislative grounds for the ceremonial lighting, and then it was brought back over to the harbour a few minutes later by the unstoppable Rick Hansen:

As he passed the torch off, the crowd broke into a spontaneous 'O Canada!' (about the 700th time I've seen and heard that in the last month!), and then, after the torch moved on, Rick stayed to shake hands and chat -- he is an amazing, and extremely gracious, man.

Michael was delighed to shake Rick's hand for the first time, AND he got a 'high-5', too! (In 1985, when he was on his Man in Motion tour, my sister and I took our five children to a remote stretch of highway near where we lived in northern Alberta to watch him go by and donate money, and my kids have never forgotten it!)

And in case you've been wondering whatever happened to the knitting content on this blog, I include some here...

I have no idea who that little girl was, but the hat's a stunner, don't you think?

As we made our way home after the festivities, we noticed this float plane on the dock...

A wonderful day on the water, and a great start to the Paralympic Games!

3 comments:

Crafty Gardener said...

I've really enjoyed reading about your Olympic experiences. One of my work collegues is flying out today to do volunteer work at the special Olympics. He will be driving people around in Whistler, as you did.

Julie said...

My kids say that seeing Rick Hansen on his tour is still one of their 'cool' childhood memories!

Lynne said...

Skipper, don't worry about a lack of 'knitting' - you are knitting together some outstanding pictures and a log of the actual event to produce a truly Canadian picture of the Torch Run! You've made a distant event come alive, and I wish that our "Media" could do as good a job as you've done.
Hope you get a chance to relax this week, after all your work.
Cheers