The Olympic Torch Celebration at Olympic Plaza last night was an action-packed event attended by over 20,000 Calgarians.
The Torch has been on the move across the country since October, where it started in Greece and has made its way around Canada, and includes 12,000 torch bearers keeping the flame moving. The Torch convoy arrived at Olympic Plaza at 7 p.m. amid a warm reception and spirited fanfare. And as the cauldron was lit in honour of the 21st Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, a wave of nostalgia overcame the roaring crowd.
The celebration also had some great performances by Albertan musicians Crystal Plamondon and Terri Clark, and visitors were able to see a number of other singers, dancers and painters show their talents.
Calgarians also had a chance to meet with the Olympians who attended the celebration. The City’s Duff Gibson, a firefighter by profession but also a retired and successful Olympian in skeleton, was on hand to introduce Calgary Olympians from past Olympic Games.
“This was just an incredible experience for myself and all Calgarians,” said Duff after speaking to a crowd in the thousands. “It’s especially great for the kids to see this; it's these kinds of things that can inspire them to one day become Olympians themselves.”
Calgary Transit also had a bus parked along Macleod Trail near Olympic Plaza that was accepting donations fro The Calgary Foodbank.
Here is a photo gallery of Jan. 18, 2010's torch relay along Macleod Trail, courtesy of Duane Starr.
***Images from Olympic Plaza's Torch Lighting Ceremony on Jan. 18, 2010. First image of Mayor Dave Bronconnier, Robyn Ainsworth (formerly Perry who lit Olympic cauldron for 1988 Winter Games) and Jim Prentice, Member of Parliament.