Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageOlympic torch comes to Guelph, Ontario Special

By Stephanie Dearing     Dec 28, 2009 in Sports
The Olympic Flame passed through Guelph, Ontario today. The one-hour event saw the torch cross Guelph from the west end to downtown and then east heading out of Guelph.
At 7 a.m., it did not seem like the street would be full of eager observers. But well before the sun came up, Paisley Road in Guelph Ontario was lined with hundreds of spectators eager to get a glimpse of the Olympic torch and the lighting of the torch.
Patriotism ran high, with many people armed with Canadian flags or pennants, as well as their cameras. Spirits were well buoyed as people braved the cold pre-dawn darkness to stand, shiver and wait for that magic few seconds of seeing the Olympic torch carried past them.
Excitement was close to spilling over when the first torch bearer for Guelph emerged from the special Olympics van with his torch. #17 smiled and hoisted his unlit torch high into the air to the cheers of spectators. The torchbearer was politely mobbed by people wanting to touch the torch and have their photographs taken with him. While the police presence was heavy, no one intervened, although people quickly sorted themselves out.
Some of the earlier arrivals who had come out to see the Olympic torch carried through Guelph  Ontar...
Some of the earlier arrivals who had come out to see the Olympic torch carried through Guelph, Ontario on December 28, 2009.
The first Olympic torch bearer is politely mobbed by Guelphites who want to touch the torch and have...
The first Olympic torch bearer is politely mobbed by Guelphites who want to touch the torch and have their photographs taken with him.
The real attraction for many people was the lighting of the torch with the Olympic flame. The idea of a flame that has been carefully carried across a vast ocean and then carried across the country was strong for many spectators. It is one ancient tradition that people appear to be happy to practice. When the torch was lit, cheers arose from the people lining the street.
The lighting of the Olympic torch in Guelph Ontario.
The lighting of the Olympic torch in Guelph Ontario.
Hundreds of people had congregated in front of Guelph's City Hall, located downtown in the city. The street was so packed with people, organizers had difficulty getting clearance to move through. The Olympic torch bearer for this part of the run was given a ride in a horse-drawn wagon.
A photograph showing part of the hundreds of people gathered in front of the Guelph City Hall to cat...
A photograph showing part of the hundreds of people gathered in front of the Guelph City Hall to catch a glimpse of the Olympic torch.
Protesters were stationed on the main street of downtown, to greet the torch. There were surprisingly few protesters, and while they shouted "This land is stolen," and "This country is built on the bones of people," there was no interference or trouble as a result of the presence of the protesters. The small group of people did not attempt to stop the torch procession.
Protesters stationed in downtown Guelph to protest the 2010 Winter Olympics  being held in Vancouver...
Protesters stationed in downtown Guelph to protest the 2010 Winter Olympics, being held in Vancouver, British Columbia.
It is not known how many people turned out for the Olympic torch, but there had to have been several thousand. Guelph was not a designated 'celebratory' municipality, so there were no special festivities planned to celebrate the passage of the Olympic flame through the city, so once the torch passed them by, most people left the streets to return home.
A proud Olympic torch bearer  name unknown.  She was singing O Canada in French to the cheers of obs...
A proud Olympic torch bearer, name unknown. She was singing O Canada in French to the cheers of observers in the street.
The Olympic torch being carried through Canada on a relay that is sponsored by Coca-Cola and the Royal Bank of Canada is also supported by the government of Canada. The 106 day relay was designed to bring the torch to as many Canadians as possible. B.C.'s Premiere, Gordon Campbell, described the Olympic torch as "... a powerful symbol of the hope, optimism and pride Canadians feel as we count down to hosting the world for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The relay is an incredible opportunity to showcase the unique character of our nation and our communities, and to unite everyone in cheering on our athletes.”
There were visible signs of Canadian patriotism everywhere when the Olympic torch went through Guelp...
There were visible signs of Canadian patriotism everywhere when the Olympic torch went through Guelph Ontario early Monday morning.
The Olympic torch was made by Bombardier, and is said to have been inspired by the tracks left by skis in the snow. Torch bearers have the option of purchasing their torch.
The first Olympic torch bearer in Guelph  Ontario.
The first Olympic torch bearer in Guelph, Ontario.
The Olympic Flame is a sacred flame and it will stay lit until the games are finished. The flame has come to mean 'the light of spirit, body and life.' The torch relay is as ancient as the Olympic Flame.
The horse-drawn wagon in front of Guelph City Hall.  Torch bearers were ferried through downtown Gue...
The horse-drawn wagon in front of Guelph City Hall. Torch bearers were ferried through downtown Guelph on the wagon when the torch passed through Guelph.
The torch left Guelph at 8:30 am and headed to Erin for the next leg of the relay. It is scheduled to travel to Orangeville and then Owen Sound on Monday December 28, although it is anticipated that the weather will not co-operate, with snow squalls and flurries predicted for parts of the province in the afternoon, which might make the relay interesting for the torch bearers.
More about Olympic torch, Olympic flame, Guelph, Ontario, 2010 winter olympics
More news from
Sports Video
Latest News
Top News