Man in Motion lights up crowd in Richmond, B.C.
Torch relay heads to Metro Vancouver's North Shore on Wednesday
Wheelchair marathoner Rick Hansen — known to millions as the Man in Motion from his worldwide fundraising tour — lit the Olympic cauldron in Richmond, B.C., in front of a crowd of thousands Tuesday night.
The ceremony capped a day in which the Olympic flame left Canada — just briefly — as it crossed into the United States at the Peace Arch border crossing south of Vancouver for a special ceremony.
B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell met Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire for the cross-border torch ceremony at 7:30 a.m. PT, marking the only time the flame has left Canada since it arrived from Greece 103 days ago.
The flame spent Monday night at the Olympic Celebration Site in Surrey, southeast of Vancouver, where Olympic gold medallist Daniel Igali lit the special community cauldron before a cheering crowd of 20,000. He called the experience "one of the most special times of my life."
Relay moves to North Shore
On Tuesday, after crossing into the U.S. and back, the torch relay continued its journey through Delta, New Westminster, Tsawwassen and Ladner.
The final torchbearer of the day was Hansen, who lit the cauldron during an evening event at the official O-zone celebration site.
On Wednesday, the torch will move to the North Shore of Vancouver, passing though Bowen Island, the Capilano Reserve and North Vancouver before arriving in West Vancouver for an evening event at the recreation centre.
Then on Thursday, the torch will head to northeastern parts of Metro Vancouver, travelling through Belcarra, Anmore and Coquitlam, then heading back west into Burnaby, the Musquem Reserve and UBC before ending up at the Yaletown LiveCity site in downtown Vancouver for an evening celebration.
Finally on Friday, the torch relay will start the day again on the North Shore of Vancouver, cross the Lions Gate Bridge and then weave through downtown and East Vancouver before returning through the Olympic Village and Granville Island on its final leg to the Olympic opening ceremonies at BC Place.
During the final relay Friday, the torch will be get some international celebrity star power to carry it along. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a friend of Campbell, is scheduled to carry the torch, along with Wayne Gretzky's father, Walter, and Terry Fox's dad, Rolly.
But just who will be the final torchbearer and light the Olympic cauldron is still a secret, although speculation has revolved around the Great One himself — Wayne Gretzky — and Betty Fox, the mother of one-legged runner Terry Fox.
With files from The Canadian Press