It's official: I am a 2010 Olympic torchbearer
- October 29, 2009 6:45 PM |
- By Your Voice
BIO: Jason Kucherawy is a comedian and tour guide. He is a co-founder of Tour Guys, a walking tour company based in Toronto and Vancouver. Jason lives in Toronto and travels as much as he can.
MY TAKE: This past August I was informed by email that I was selected as a torchbearer for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. When I opened the email, I practically exploded with joy. I hooted, I made fist pumps, I jumped out of my chair and I beamed. It written in black and white: I was going to be a torchbearer!
The congratulatory email I received contained a video montage of past torch relays and one of my favourite Coldplay songs (Fix You) served as the soundtrack.
As I watched the video, the realization that I would be a part of this great tradition truly sunk in -- that for a few hundred glorious metres, I would be carrying the Olympic flame.
The Olympic flame is an internationally recognized symbol of peace between nations, and for me to run with it is a great honour. I know how precious a thing peace is. In 2006, I spent six months in Afghanistan working with the Canadian Forces as a travel co-ordinator. As a result of my experience, I have a far greater appreciation now for the peace and prosperity we enjoy here in Canada. It's something I wish more of the world would know. I don't think the Olympics will ever bring about world peace, but it is heartening to know that people from all over the world can set aside their differences for a while and come together for the sake of sport.
For me, the Olympics are a wonderful celebration of sport and human achievement. Sports were a huge part of my life growing up. I cherished the countless hours spent playing baseball, competing in high school wrestling and volleyball tournaments, and later helping coach a slow-pitch team in a league for people with special needs in my hometown of Barrie, Ont. Sports have been, and continue to be, a positive aspect of my life. For me the Olympics represent much of what is admirable about humanity, from our natural tendency to work together to our desire to reach further, go faster, fly higher and accomplish more than those who came before us. I don't plan to run my part of the relay in record time, but I'm sure I'll be flying high on adrenaline.
I'm a very proud Canadian. I've worked in the travel and tourism industry since university and spent most of the past decade working as a tour guide for educational tour companies. It was a rewarding job taking students to cities across Canada and teaching them about their country and society and their place in it as young citizens. I've travelled from one coast to the other and have fallen deeply in love with not only our magnificent geography, but our colourful history as well. The eyes of the world will be on Canada in 2010, and as a tour guide who loves showing off his country, I am thrilled to be part of the torch relay and all of the Olympic hoopla.
The other day I received a surprise package in the mail from Coca-Cola. Inside was little piece of the hoopla in the form of a letter congratulating me on being a torchbearer and a red T-shirt made from recycled PET bottles given out only to the official torchbearers who won their spot through Coca-Cola. What a nice thing to do! Too bad it's not really T-shirt weather anymore.
So, come Dec. 29, on some stretch of road between Owen Sound and Barrie, I will be running, chest out, chin up and holding the torch high with a smile on my face as wide as Canada. It will be my Olympic moment to share with family, friends and strangers cheering me on and something I know I will never forget. I hope they let me keep the torch.
Road To The Games: Have you been selected as a torchbearer? Email us your story: email@example.com or tweet about it at #cbcyv
Will you be taking pictures from the torch route? Vist cbc.ca/torchrelay to upload your photos.
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