Leading up to The Olympic Winter Games every four years, the subject of The Olympic Torch Relay comes up as I am reminded by our family of the grey Monday morning of February 1, 1988 when Trail came alive with excitement.
Thirty-four (34) very short years ago it was Trail’s turn to host The Olympic Torch Relay as it was en route to Calgary for The XV Olympic Winter Games.
Our team of runners and escorts, promptly and appropriately named “The Trail Torch Eaters,” had all won the lottery to allow us to run with The Olympic Torch through Trail.
We all knew that in some very small way we were all living our own Olympic dreams by doing so.
Growing up in the shadow of The Smokies, D’Amour, Merry, Krause, Maniago, Belisky, Ferraro, Bay and Tambellini, to name but a few of the great athletes Trail has produced, provided the inspiration we all required.
We started our journey that morning in Warfield, and our team took turns running … down The Gulch past Star Grocery and The Trail Hotel, turning on Pine Avenue to City Hall and winding our way to The Victoria Street Parking Lot next to Cominco Arena.
There we were met with a celebration including welcoming speeches by Mayor Marc (Marc Marcolin) and Jungle Jim Hunter.
Sybil Cowlin did us all very proud as she presented The Olympic Torch to Trail on stage.
In short order we were out of the parking lot and running east over The Mighty Columbia.
To some of us that had won the right to escort The Olympic Torch through our cheering hometown, time stood still for just a few short minutes as we became part of something totally remarkable.
Even though our brush with The Olympic Torch in the true Home of Champions was over in a blink of an eye, the memories of that amazing grey morning will last a lifetime.
Ron Marcolin, originally from Trail, lives near Saint John, NB and is a VP with Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, Canada’s largest and oldest trade and industry association.
A father of five, Nonno to two — he and his wife Sue visit Trail and Christina Lake throughout the year.