95-year-old Manitoban bearing torch for Canada Summer Games torch relay
Relay to snake way across Manitoba between June 23 to July 26 ahead of national sports event
Jean Morrison is still active at 95 and says walking the Canada Games torch a few hundred metres this summer will be a piece of cake.
"I think sport is an integral part of [life]," Morrison said. "[Swimming] is the most wonderful sport I know. Your muscles aren't as supple as they used to be. When you get in the water you're absolutely free."
She and more than 200 others across Manitoba have been selected as torchbearers for the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg. The torch relays take place from June 23 to July 28; the games run from July 28 to Aug. 13.
Morrison, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman and Winnipeg Centre member of Parliament Robert-Falcon Ouellette will be taking part on the final day of the torch relay in Winnipeg.
Jeff Hnatiuk, president and CEO of the 2017 Canada Summer Games Host Society, said more than 650 torchbearer nominations were submitted.
"The excitement, the inspirational stories of those who were chosen to run with the torch are phenomenal," said Hnatiuk, adding the games have also hit their target of 6,000 volunteers.
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"It's really an indication of the way this community comes together."
The games started in Quebec City in 1967 and mark 50 years in action this summer.
Pallister encouraged Manitobans to take in the event and see future Pan Am and Olympic athletes in action.
"It's a wonderful sports event," he said.
"Our daughter competed in the Canada games in Sherbrooke, Que., and I tell you I wished I was three different guys because there was so much to see, so many events to go to. It was fabulous and this will be the best one ever."
Bowman said fitness is an important part of life for his family and he is looking forward to hosting the event.
"I'm really pumped, I think it's going to be a lot of fun, it's going to be great for our community," he said. "We're counting down the days to welcoming Canadians from coast to coast to coast to come to Winnipeg."
"It looks pretty heavy, the torch," he said. "Looked like it was maybe filled with jet fuel or something like that. It's going to burn very brightly, but I think I can handle it. Maybe two hands."
Morrison, meanwhile, has been exercising and playing sports since she was just a girl. She earned her bronze medallion in swimming in 1937 at the age of 15 and still swims to this day, which is one of the secrets to why she's stayed fit as a fiddle all these years.
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The other secret to her good health, Morrison says, is having a good sense of humour.
"I kept a book with everything funny that happened to me all my life, and now I look back at those and some I laugh and smile, some I even chuckle out loud," she said.
"You've got to laugh in this life. You can take a cause seriously but don't take yourself seriously. And don't be with people who take the wind out of your sails."
A full list of torchbearers is available on the games' website.