Torch Relay, a first class experience

By Rick MacDonnell, SnowSeekers Inc.

For teacher Judy Sliwinski's grade 6 class at Chestermere Middle School, the Olympic Torch couldn't have come through Chestermere, Alberta at a better time. 

"My grade 6 kids are learning all about ancient Greece in class right now, so I think that makes them feel really tied to an event like this," Sliwinski said.

Sliwinski's class was one of dozens of classes that attended Tuesday's Torch relay in Chestermere. In all, five local elementary schools sent their kids to watch and take part in the festivities.

"This is a once in a lifetime event that they (the kids) are able to witness here today. Who knows when the flame with pass through Alberta again, so for some of them this might be the last chance they ever have to see it."

For Sliwinski, she's relishing the opportunity to see the Torch this time around. "As far as I recall, the Torch didn't pass through Chestermere on its way to Calgary in 1988. So just like the kids, this is a once lifetime opportunity for people like me as well."

The Torch's presence in Chestermere today was a symbol of the town's rapid evolution over the past number of years. Sliwinski feels a sense of validation, that her town is finally on the map.

"This is a huge deal for Chestermere, and we want the kids to see that. This town has grown so much in just the last few years, so I think that today is, in part, a celebration of that. Chestermere is a significant place now. We now have the facilities to accommodate an event like this."

As important as this moment is the for town as a whole, Sliwinski knows that the real winners on this day are the children. "Today will show the kids how important these games are to people, and how they aren't just games. It's great for them to see how the whole community comes together to celebrate."

Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at

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