Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Wacky week

This week's VANOC theme is Chilliwack.

On Sept. 21 at the Roundhouse Community Centre, 70 projects were added to the 2010 Cultural Olympiad. The news conference ended with a performance by Bill Henderson, leader of the classic rock band named for the "green heart" of the Fraser Valley.

On Sept. 23, VANOC is staging a dress rehearsal of the Olympic torch relay, sans flame. The route hasn't been published, but VANOC said the convoy would go through Hope, Seabird Island, Harrison Hot Springs, Agassiz, Rosedale, Chilliwack and Abbotsford from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The same communities are scheduled for a visit by the torch on Feb. 7 when it's en route to the Feb. 12 opening ceremony in Vancouver.

Media have been advised the faux relay will pass Chilliwack Spirit Square at 12:50 p.m. A test community celebration will be held at 1:14 p.m. at Chilliwack Landing Leisure Centre.

The first torch will be lit in Olympia, Greece on Oct. 22, run around Greece for a week, handed-over to Canada's Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean on Oct. 29 and then transported in a canister aboard a Canadian Forces military charter plane for the Oct. 30 arrival in Victoria.

The torch will be accompanied on its tour by a convoy of vehicles. Some documents I have obtained show three police cruisers, two torchbearers’ motorcoaches, two SUVs, five trucks, two buses for security and guest relations, six police motorcycles and an ambulance. The torchbearer will be escorted by two RCMP “security runners.” Some 45,000 kilometres must be covered in 106 days by 12,000 people. More clicks will be counted on the odometers of airplanes and automobiles than on the feet of humans. This is more a Great Canadian Road Trip than it is a human-powered feat.

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