Volunteer hockey coach Caleb Taylor of Regina has been selected as one of the first Olympic torchbearers for the 2010 Vancouver Games.
Torch relay sponsor RBC made the announcement Thursday — exactly one year before the Games are set to begin.
"This is a thrill of a lifetime. There are no other words to describe how I feel," Taylor told RBC Olympic officials. "I am truly honoured to bring the Olympic spirit to my city, my community and the kids I care so much about."
Taylor, 35, coaches in Regina's Outdoor Hockey League. The association gives inner-city youth who can't afford organized hockey the chance to play.
"The league gives kids an opportunity to be part of a team, develop leadership and social skills and gain a sense of accomplishment," he added.
Also named a torchbearer for the upcoming Vancouver Games was 18-year-old Patricia Moreno, who plays a leadership role in her community and is dedicated to youth sports programs.
Dressed in mostly white tracksuits, Moreno and Taylor held the all-white Olympic torch aloft in their red-gloved hands in front of a crowd of onlookers at a special celebration marking the run-up to the Games.
Gordon M. Nixon, RBC's president and chief executive officer, said there are more than 2,000 Olympic torchbearer spots. Any Canadian who is 13 years of age or older can enter by applying through the company's website.
Olympic organizers are also commemorating the one-year Olympic countdown by unveiling the design of the 2010 torch.
The cross-Canada relay will begin in Victoria in October, stretching 45,000 kilometres and running through more than1,000 communities before arriving in Vancouver to start the Games.