Thursday, October 29, 2020
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Olympic Torch Relay 2009

Sister Jacqueline de Verteuil discovered that Evelyn Kelly, a graduate of her Diploma in Ministry Program, was among those chosen to carry the Olympic Torch. Here is what Evelyn has to say about her part in the Torch Relay:

"My feet have not hit the ground yet as I cannot believe that I am one of only 12,000 people in all of Canada to hold this torch. This is a very surreal moment.

"This was the halfway point of the Torch run. It had started in Vancouver in November and now it is Dec. 21, 2009. The Torch has been on the road for 53 days with 53 more to go. Today is the winter solstice and my 300 meters will be run just before lunch.

"About 10 steps after I started my run, the enormity of the event struck me. At this moment I am the only person in the world to hold the Olympic Flame in my hand. The wave of excitement from the onlookers is contagious as I progress along my very short 300 meters. They wave and cheer from the sidewalks, cars and rooftops. It is as if every person is sharing in this awesome experience.

"When I got back on the bus, every other Torch Bearer cheered for me and asked how it felt. I couldn't even speak. I silently handed my torch to the Torch Collector.

"In 1976, I was a Fencer. I wanted to go to the Olympics as an athlete but due to a serious injury in 1974, I could not qualify. I decided that I would get there by another means and set about learning the judging and scorekeeping end of the sport. As part of the scorekeeping staff at the Fencing venue in Montreal, it was the greatest thrill of my life to be close to so many World Class fencers at a World Class event. On the last evening of the last event of the Montreal Olympics, I remember standing and looking at the podium, the flags, the TV cameras, and the scoreboards and drinking in all that I could as the memory had to last a lifetime. I knew I would never have the opportunity to be involved again with the Olympics as an athlete or volunteer.

"I didn't even apply to be a Torch Bearer as I felt that was an opportunity for a new generation of Canadians. And now here I am. I am so grateful to the Last Post Fund, of whom I am a member, for having awarded this opportunity to me. They are responsible for the decent funeral and burial of any veteran who cannot afford the expense. As a veteran, I appreciate the chance to represent the many veterans whom we serve and to carry this torch on their behalf. I hope they know what a great honour they have bestowed on this very proud Canadian."


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