Olympic torch returning to Prince CountySTEPHEN BRUN
The Journal Pioneer
SUMMERSIDE – In just over a week, the Olympic torch will hit P.E.I.’s red soil for the first time in 22 years.
One of the most recognizable symbols of the Games will make its way to Prince County by Sunday, Nov. 22 as part of its trek to Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics.
Credit Union Place was chosen as one of 160 community celebration sites in the country. While the date seems close now, bringing the torch to western P.E.I. was a long time in the making.
“We worked on it for 16 months,” said Katy Baker of the torch relay task force. “It’s very exciting to be picked as a celebration site. Summerside is a town that loves its sports and its athletes and we’re going to embrace the torch with the same enthusiasm as the Olympics.”
The last time the torch relay came to the Island was in November 1987, prior to the Calgary Olympics the following year.
For this year’s relay, torch bearers were selected randomly from across the Island by sponsors RBC and Coca Cola, and each runner will carry the flame 300 metres.
Before the torch hits Summerside, it will travel through Kensington, Lennox Island, Abram-Village and Wellington.
The relay will then wind its way through the city before Summerside’s two-time Olympian Heather Moyse carries it onto the grounds of Credit Union Place for the community celebration.
Baker said plans for street closures and traffic control will be announced next week.
Since many local residents will be running their 300 metres with the torch, Baker advised staking out a good spot in the city to watch the relay since there will be high levels of security around the event.
“The celebrations will all build to a moment when Heather gets onstage with the torch to light the cauldron,” said Baker. “It will be quite a parade and there will be massive amounts of vehicles following the relay. Athena School’s parking lot would be a good place to watch it, or the baseball fields on Granville Street but, like any parade, there are lots of places along the route to gather.”