Hundreds welcome the Olympic Torch at only U.S. stop
Just days before the 2010 Winter Olympics open in Vancouver, the Olympic Torch made its first and only visit to U.S. soil Tuesday during a ceremony at the Peace Arch monument.
Seattle Times staff reporter
BLAINE — Short and sweet. That sums up the 2010 Olympic Torch's first and only visit to American soil.
It took Olympic gold-medal skier Phil Mahre of Yakima not much more than two minutes to loop around one leg of the Peace Arch monument with the torch early Tuesday, and head back through to awaiting dignitaries and camera crews.
A crowd of several hundred cheered. Youth choirs from Blaine and British Columbia joined together in the national anthems of the U.S. and Canada. And representatives of the Semiahmoo First Nation and Lummi Indian Nation welcomed visitors to land their people have inhabited for centuries.
Thousands more spectators Tuesday greeted the torch in other communities south of Vancouver in Day 103 of the torch's 106-day cross-Canada relay. Friday, the torch will light the Olympic Cauldron at B.C. Place, opening the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Gov. Chris Gregoire and B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell shared the stage at the Peace Arch, each citing the kinship and cooperation between the state and province.
Gregoire called the Olympics "a time of peace, a time of celebration, a time of watching the human spirit in a way it can perform like no other."
Mahre was an apt choice as the American to bring the torch across the border. He and his twin brother, Steve, have been two of America's most successful ski racers.
Phil Mahre won his Olympic gold in the slalom event at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, in which Steve Mahre took the silver.
By the end of the torch's journey, it will have passed through 1,000 cities and villages and been carried by more than 12,000 Canadians.
Americans greeting the torch at the Peace Arch included Betty Barney, 47, of Ferndale, dressed as the Statue of Liberty, complete with a torch fashioned from a flashlight and duct tape, and a cardboard crown in sea-foam green.
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime moment," she said.
Jack Broom: email@example.com
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.
(Courtesy of LeMay — America's Car Museum) New LeMay exhibit to look at NASCAR LeMay — America's Car Museum in Tacoma will look at the wil...
Post a comment