Dr. Garry Gibson – lead torch bearer for Camrose, and affectionately known as the Gibber – told the crowd carrying the torch was “a major highlight of [his] life, made all the more wonderful by sharing it with [his] community.”
It appeared as if the whole town was closed that day to come out and celebrate its leg of the torch relay. Most excited were the school kids, who not only got to “miss math class” for the event, but they shared a connection to Dr. Gibson through their teacher, Miss Olsen.
Garry “taught me in high school,” remembers Olsen. “He taught Phys Ed. and coached me in both volley ball and basket ball. It was before he stared the biathlon program. Before the program, only the army was concerned with biathlon.”
Having not one, but two former biathlete Olympians – David Leony and Glenn Rubertus – Dr. Garry’s influence on the community is as strong as ever. I had a chance to ask Glenn and David about the Nordic tradition in Camrose.
“Camrose owes its Nordic skiing tradition to its Scandinavian heritage. Many Swedes and Norwegians settled here and brought with them cross country skiing. Now we have a prominent ski jumping, cross country, and biathlon program,” says David. As such, representing their country in the sport of their home town makes both Glenn and David feel as though they “carry the town with [them] wherever [they] go.”