Scott Russell Breaks Down While Sharing Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Moment
October 8, 2013By Leah Collins
Last week, while Scott Russell was still training for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay, he asked CBC Live to join him on a run.
"I know it's only 300 metres," Russell told us while taking a break from training. He was talking about his portion of the relay -- a route that will ultimately spread 65,000 km across Russia, making it the longest in the games' history. "It's a very small part," he said, "but it's huge to me."
So huge, in fact, that once Russell's flame had been passed Tuesday morning -- and he'd reflected on the significance of his run -- the long-time CBC reporter was brought to tears. He was talking with CBC News Network's Heather Hiscox via Skype, shortly after completing his run at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, when that emotional moment was broadcast.
Watch the video:
"I get like this. Everybody who knows me knows I get like this about the Olympics," Russell told Hiscox, moments after he was overcome with emotion. The CBC colleagues had been discussing Russell's experience -- a run that took him twice the distance expected (Russell filled in for an absent torch-runner at the last minute).
"The only regret I had was that my time with the Olympic torch was too short," he told Hiscox. "It just went by in a whisper, but it was a very emotional time for me, and very spiritual."
Russell, who'll host CBC's coverage of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, went on to tell Hiscox about his life-long connection to the games. And in reflecting on the Olympics' greater significance, he choked up briefly on air.
"When it happens," he said of his torch run, "and you really get down to what the flame represents, that spirit of unity, of peace -- it's very emotional, I've got to say," he said, his voice cracking.
Russell took his Twitter followers through every step of his Olympic torch moment Tuesday morning.
And his full thoughts on the Olympic relay can be found on his blog, Field of Play. (Read his story.)
A total of 14,000 people will carry the torch before the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games begin on CBC, and according to Russell, he's waited since childhood to join their company.
"I've had this life-long romance with the Olympic Games. They are the only event that can draw the world together," he told CBC Live last week. "So to be a part of that story in a very real way, and to carry the flame that represents the spirit? I couldn't ask for anything more."
Watch video of Scott Russell training for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games Torch Relay: