When the Olympic Flame arrives in Drumheller in just 17 weeks time, Martin McSween, nominated as Drumheller’s community torchbearer to light the celebration cauldron for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, will proudly carry it.
Martin is an addictions councilor with the Province of Alberta and is known in the community for his outstanding volunteerism in the valley. Martin’s 19 years of involvement in Special Olympics and his extensive connection with various local sporting groups, made him an ideal choice to represent Drumheller.
“We’re pleased to announce Martin McSween as Drumheller’s torchbearer for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games,” said Mayor Bryce Nimmo. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Martin, who is one of 12,000 Canadians chosen to carry the Olympic Flame on the longest domestic torch relay in Olympic history! On January 16, 2010, we want everyone in our community to join together with other Canadians and show the world how inspired we feel by the Olympic Flame and its message of peace, brotherhood and friendship.”
Martin’s contribution to sport in the valley is impressive. Mr. McSween has been coaching soccer in the valley since 1995 and this year his U-18 soccer team won the gold medal in the provincial finals. Martin started a recreational ski program, a Special Olympics alpine ski racing program and has coached various athletes in Drumheller. In 2005, Martin arranged a Team Canada alpine ski training camp to help prepare for the 2005 Special Olympics World Winter Games. In 2008, he was selected as one of the coaches for alpine skiing for the World Special Olympic Games in Boise Idaho.
Mr. McSween has received many accolades including the 2008 Gayle Moss Volunteer of the Year Award, 2005 Special Olympics Alberta Coach of the year and the 2005 Special Olympics Canada Coach of the Year.
Midway through the two-hour celebration program, Martin will carry the Olympic Torch on its final 300 metres to the stage where he will light the 1.3-metre high celebration cauldron, in a move similar to the dramatic highlight of what will occur during the Opening Ceremony for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
To celebrate the arrival of the flame, The Drumheller Olympic Torch Relay committee is planning various activities the week prior to the torch arriving in Drumheller.
Initial community excitement and involvement has been superb. The flame and the official ceremony will take place at the Canadian Badlands Passion Play site.
The 106-day Olympic Torch Relay, which is presented by Coca-Cola and RBC and supported by the Government of Canada, will visit more than 1,030 communities and places of interest in every province and territory.
On February 12, 2010, the Olympic Flame will make its way to downtown Vancouver to light the Olympic Cauldron in a magical and awe-inspiring moment before three billion people worldwide, signalling the kick off to the start of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.