The Olympic flame is within us

the-olympic-flame-is-within-usAs the 2010 Winter Olympics come to a close, wonderful memories and a sense of encouragement remain from our shared experience of Vancouver and Whistler, BC.  Athletes and administrators, volunteers and fans, families and global friends — we all came together to honour excellence and commitment.

While I enjoyed the excitement of the competitions, it was the determined spirit of the people that brought joy to my heart. While even the best teams come and go, the most beautiful and steadfast human traits remain: compassion and community.

When I see people trying hard to do something good together I feel true joy. I know that joy is shared with many, including Joyce Hunnam, a Scottish woman who has volunteered at 6 Olympics, and who is pictured with the flame above.

Photo by Dave Chidley

There are many images and moments in each Olympics, but none as primal and symbolic as the Olympic flame. From humankind’s earliest days, fire has been a symbol of our ability to tame enough of nature to help us survive. The Olympic torch, topped with flame and carried with pride by a legion of runners, represents our shared determination to overcome obstacles, weather and geographic barriers — to share the good news of global fellowship and good will.

Photo by 2010 Olympic Volunteer

Designed by the famed Canadian company, Bombardier (of Ski-Doo fame), the Olympic torch was passed from hand to hand across the country, traveling 45,000 kilometers through snow, rain, hail, wind and sub-zero temperatures.

A combination of engineering, organizing and human spirit, the carrying of the Olympic torch is one of my favourite human endeavors — working together and celebrating great achievements and community.

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