By Will Colford, SnowSeekers Inc.
Walking through the festival grounds, a curious sight passes by. Walking together are two torchbearers, from different Canadian Olympics.
Donning the fluid colors of the Vancouver 2010 games is Bob Chabay. Bob recently retired from the Provincial Government after 35 years of loyal service to the province he loves. As a parting gift, he thought it might be great to carry the torch in the city he prides – Lethbridge. His pledge on the application was to both live and promote a healthy and active lifestyle.
Beside him stands his wife, charged up for her husband and nostalgic about her time with the torch during Alberta’s own 88 Calgary Olympics. Her onepiece Red and Whites are pristine and vibrant, as though she could run a few legs of the relay tomorrow. What really strikes me is her touque, which has retained the maple leaf points after all these years. Bonny, however, garnered her spot in the Calgary torch relay in a much different fashion. “Back then you could pick up the applications from the Petro Can. It began one day when I picked up two. One for me and one for Bob, but I ended up filling out both. Before I knew it, I was tracking down stacks of a hundred and sending them all in. All told, I filled out 11,001 applications.”
For the torch to come to Lethbridge and for Bob to carry it epitomizes the fire of Southern Albertan’s have for sport. “Southern Alberta is a sporting region. We grow up on the ponds or the hills, so an event like this just brings the whole community together.”