Bearers proud to carry torch

Terry Stevens waves to the crowd as he runs the final segment of the Olympic torch relay through the District of Coldstream Tuesday morning.

The only problem concerning Trish Dalcourt as she prepared to carry the Olympic torch through Coldstream Tuesday morning was the hand-off.

Dalcourt was told she’d be handing things over to former CFL star Lawrie Skolrood, who would be stationed atop a Lavington Fire Department antique truck. Half Skolrood’s size, Dalcourt, at five-foot-one, was, er, up for the challenge.

“My excitement is off the map,” said Dalcourt during a pre-torch briefing at the rec centre. “I grew up on Ormsby Drive, went to Coldstream Elementary and Kal schools. This is my neighbourhood.”

Told by torch officials to “be rock stars for the day,” Dalcourt, who now resides in Edmonton, obliged.

She smiled and waved to the crowd during her segment, then hopped on the truck to seamlessly transfer her flame to Skolrood.

“It was the most amazing thing to be part of,” said Dalcourt. “I was 100 times more excited during and after the relay. Everybody in the truck (after the run) was floating six feet above the ground.”

For Skolrood, a Coldstream resident and deputy fire chief for the City of Vernon, his stint with the flame was memorable.

“It was great,” said Skolrood, inducted into the Saskatchewan Roughriders Hall of Fame in 2009. “It was great going through Coldstream, I was really proud of Coldstream today.

“The Hall of Fame honour is a little more personal, but I was proud to carry the torch today.”

Vancouver’s Ian Gordon is a two-time Olympic rower (Munich, 1972, and Montreal, 1976, where he finished fifth), who carried the torch in Coldstream.

Gordon has taken part in Olympic opening and closing ceremonies (and is part of the rehearsal for the Vancouver opening ceremonies), but was equally excited to be carrying the flame.

“It was fantastic,” said Gordon, who had his wife, her father and step-mother cheering him on during his segment. “It was a special day for the kids. There were so many kids on the route. The excitement the kids brought to it was a great experience.”

Hundreds lined Kalamalka Road to catch a glimpse of the torch and cheer on the runners.

Cody Stacey and Trish Marshall didn’t let injuries prevent them from welcoming the Olympic flame.

Stacey, nursing a broken foot, hobbled up the road on his crutches, joined by friends Shelby and Jade Ralston and Kira Urbas.

“I crutched all the way from my house to see the torch. It was pretty cool,” said Stacey.

“It was a once-in-a-life opportunity,” added Shelby. “I’m not going to any of the Olympic events so this is as close as I’ll get.”

Marshall, a two-time competitor in the Ironman Canada triathlon, and Coldstream resident, broke her shoulder cross-country skiing after Christmas.

“I think it’s pretty important to come out and see history,” said Marshall, her injured shoulder housed in a sling under an Ironman Canada sweater. “I think it’s very cool that it came through my neighbourhood in Coldstream. When they first announced it was coming here, I thought it would only be in Vernon.”

The torch route was a chance for some to relive 1988, when Calgary hosted the Winter Games.

Coldstream’s Craig Wyllie, who carried the torch in Vernon during a late afternoon stint in 1988, was decked out in his Calgary torch relay outfit, a red and white jacket with red track pants.

“Still fits, but a little more snug,” laughed Wyllie. “I didn’t try to be a torch bearer this year. I had my time, and I thought it was time to let others experience the opportunity.”

Maureen Schmaltz of Vernon, joined by her son, Joseph, 13, was living in Calgary in 1988, and remembered watching the torch go by her when she lined the torch route in the city’s northwest district. She was fine with allowing her son to miss French class at his Kelowna school.

“I have no problems whatsoever,” she smiled. “I have no problems with him taking in history.”

Joseph, who had “Go Canada” painted on his face, was excited to catch a glimpse of the torch.

“I wanted to be here to take part in this great torch run that’s leading up to the Vancouver Olympics,” said Joseph.

After Coldstream, the torch was carried through Vernon, then off to Spallumcheen, Armstrong and Enderby before spending Tuesday night in Sicamous and Revelstoke.

Just Posted

BX wildfire a ‘fire of note’

Blaze now 1.2 hectares

Updated: Complete list of B.C. Interior wildfire coverage

Up-to-date information on blazes happening the Kamloops Wildfire Centre

UPDATED: Suspects identified in meat thefts

Honour system fridge dishonoured, RCMP catch up with suspects

Smoky skies cause Okanagan-wide air quality issues

Central Okanagan pushed to high risk

Evacuation orders and alerts issued in and near Summerland

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen issues evacuation orders; Summerland issues alert

Update: Wildfire near Peachland grows to 500 hectares, structures threatened

Peachland - Evacuation orders have been issued for Brent Road and Highway 97 South properties

B.C. hockey coach, nurse was killed in case of mistaken identity, police say

In Surrey, Paul Bennett’s wife makes a tearful plea for help in finding her husband’s killer

Lower Mainland blueberry farms expect solid season

Blueberry Council of B.C. says season will be better than last year

B.C. to add hundreds of taxis, delays Uber, Lyft-style service again

Ride hailing companies have to wait until fall of 2019 to apply for licences

UPDATED: Mount Conkle wildfire near Summerland hits 80 hectares

Lightning-caused fire near Summerland now at estimated size of 80 hectares

BC Games ready to begin on Vancouver Island

More than 2,000 athletes will compete in 18 sports from Friday to Sunday

Plenty of heroes in Thai cave rescue, says B.C. diver

Erik Brown reflects on team effort that brought 12 boys and their coach to safety

Dental crew brushes back Gray Monk

North Okanagan Women’s Soccer Association roundup

Gallie going for gold at Games

Vernon 16-year-old a slugger with Zone 2

Most Read