For local resident Bev Fry, being chosen to play a part in the upcoming 2015 Canada Winter Games celebration gave her a new appreciation for the people she’s met and the time she’s spent volunteering at countless community and sports events over the years.
Fry was one of the close to 30 runners to carry the Canada Games Roly McLenahan Torch in Quesnel on Jan. 17, the last regional torch relay before the start of the 2015 Games on Feb. 13 in Prince George.
The event is the largest multi-sport and cultural event ever held in northern British Columbia.
“There was a lot of emotion behind it,” Fry says of the experience. “I was very thankful and grateful. It really makes you feel humble.”
The theme of the torch relay was “Illuminate the North”. Fry was one of over 400 northern British Columbians who were nominated based on their commitment to their respective communities, and one of 150 chosen, to carry the torch.
The torch weighed about 15 pounds. Fry carried it for about two blocks wearing official 2015 Games apparel before handing it off to the next runner. It was surreal, she says of the run.
“At first I was really nervous. I think everybody was feeling the same thing: ‘Wow, this is actually happening’.
“I met a lot of cool people that were into the same things in different communities, and even up-and-coming athletes that will be participating in the Canada Winter Games,” she adds. “These might be our future olympians we’ll see in the future. It was really gratifying to meet all these different people.”
The 2015 Canada Winter Games, which run Feb. 13 to March 1, will see 2,400 athletes ranging in age from 12 to 35 from around the country competing in 19 sports.
The event isn’t returning to B.C. for at least 20 years. Being a part of an event of this magnitude is something people should embrace if they get the chance to, Fry says.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people to be involved with something at this level. To me, it was a great experience, something I’ll never forget.”