With just over 100 days to go until the start of the Paralympic Winter Games, Canadians are being invited to apply today as torchbearers for the 10-day journey starting on March 3, 2010.
Potential torchbears, who must be Canadian residents aged 13 or older by March 3, 2010 can apply online at www.YouGottaBeHere.ca until January 6, 2010. Applicants will need to describe why they want to be a torchbearer and how they embody the Paralympic values in their everyday life. Each torchbearer selected must also have transportation to and from their assigned torchbearer location.
The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) also announced today that Rick Ball, an Ontario amputee runner, has been chosen as one of the first torchbearers to carry the Paralympic Flame in the relay.
“To carry the Paralympic Flame is an incredible honour, especially when I think about how this will be the same light at the end of the relay that welcomes all of the world’s great winter Paralympians to reach their dreams here in Canada in 2010,” said Ball, a father of two who hopes to compete at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
“When I took up competitive running two years ago I never dreamed I could be a part of something like this. I know it’s often said that dreams can come true if you work hard, but these athletes … they’re living proof of this,” he added.
During the relay, an estimated 600 torchbearers will carry the flame in the curved steel blue torch, designed and manufactured by Bombardier, while wearing their matching blue official keepsake torchbearer uniform. The relay will visit community celebration sites in Ottawa, Quebec City and Toronto, as well as Victoria and Esquimalt, Squamish, Whistler, Lytton and Hope, Maple Ridge and finally onto Vancouver for the Paralymic opening ceremonies on March 12th.
In addition to the public torchbearer contest, other torchbearers will be selected by VANOC, the Government of Canada, Coca-Cola, RBC, the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), and the Canadian Forces’ Soldier On program.
For more information on the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay, visit www.vancouver2010.com/torchrelay.