Saddeling up with the Flame

By Jim Barr, SnowSeekers

Albertan Mac MaKenny, owner of the HomePlace Ranch in southern Alberta, rode his way into the history books tonight, by becoming the first and only torch bearer to have ever taken the Olympic Torch by horseback.   He was on the back of his trusted steed, Rollin' Thunder on the corner of the famous "Red Mile" or 17th Ave and 4th St getting ready to saddle up with the Olympic flame. For him it was certainly not just another day out on the ranch.   "It was a magnificent experience and great to do it on horseback. This horse was pretty comfortable with it, he's been in a few movies and has even had Jack Hanna on his back when he was up here shooting his TV show this past summer."

For MaKenny, the Olympics are a time to reflect, to think about all the good things that have come our way."You think back to how quickly time has gone by and how many things have happened since 1988. It makes you appreciate all the things that have made you happy and all the people along the way that have helped to create those memories."

For MaKenny and his horse, Mr. Thunder, I wanted to know what they thought about this great province,  "Alberta has so much here, its western spirit, its Canadian Badlands, the beautiful Canadian Rockies and than to be in the City of Calgary tonight with all this excitment, this province really has everything."  But with all of this is there anything that surprises him about Alberta? "Everything surprises me about this province, we have so much going on here."

Finally I asked MaKenny if there were any specific messages he'd like to send out to the atheletes that will be in these games in only 25 days. "This is our opportunity to shine, leave it all on the ice, the slopes or the in the sleds, do you'r best and bring us back gold!" For more on MaKenny's hometown hospitality, take a trip out to his dude ranch sometime, consult  For all the latest on our Olympic coverage, consult Travel Alberta's YouTube channel 

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