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Who will light the Olympic Flame?

Who will light the Olympic Flame?

By Sean Mitton, Canadian Expat Network
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While many Canadians discuss who is likely to make the Canadian Olympic hockey team, another interesting question is who will light the Olympic flame? If Trev Fisher has any say in the matter, it would be Betty Fox, mother of Canadian hero Terry Fox. Fisher created a Facebook group in January of 2009 and today has support from over 123,000 group members.  Fisher, age 33, remembers the Terry Fox run as a young boy and was inspired by Terry's courage.

VANOC, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic games, is responsible for making the decision. Fisher and a number of group members have contacted VANOC to voice their opinion and support of Betty Fox. Observers think that the person who is chosen will be someone who represents Canada, B.C., Vancouver and Whistler, and "means a lot to everybody." Certainly Betty Fox would fit those criteria, according to Fisher. "It would be our way of saying thank you," Fisher stated.

Fisher, a North Delta resident, was inspired to create the group after Fisher and his mother saw something about Terry Fox on TV. "My mom thought it would be a great idea if Betty Fox was the lighter of the Olympic flame for all that Terry and his family has done for cancer and our country. That evening, I created a Facebook group and it turns out thousands of people feel the way we do," Fisher said.

Terry Fox, who grew up in Port Coquitlam, B.C., was diagnosed with bone cancer when he was 18 and had his right leg amputated above the knee.  Three years later, in 1980, he embarked on his Marathon of Hope across Canada to raise money for cancer research. He was forced to stop after running 3,339 miles, just outside Thunder Bay, when the cancer had spread to his lungs. He died the next year, at age 22. 2010 is the 30th anniversary of the run.

"The group support has been overwhelming," Fisher states. "In the beginning, the group grew by a thousand each week, but I never thought it would grow to the size it is today." The identity of the final torchbearer is a closely guarded secret, known only to a small group of VANOC officials. The world will learn the identity of the final torchbearer on Feb 12th, 2010.

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