Pat Jamieson with her grandchildren Aidan and William.
Pat Jamieson, a sales rep with Royal Lepage Community Realty in Medicine Hat, Alta., took part in the Olympic Torch Relay on January 17 in Bow Island, near Medicine Hat. She and other Realtor Torchbearers sent their stories to share with REM readers.
I applied online in January 2009 through rbccarrythetorch.com, and received a call at the end of October 2009 to say I had been “pre-selected” to carry the Torch on January 17. This was all very exciting and I felt quite emotional whenever I thought about it. I only shared the information with my husband until everything was finalized. Once my uniform arrived and I knew my route was in Bow Island, I shared this once-in-a-lifetime news with family and friends.
I felt very honoured and proud to have been chosen and looked forward to this event with much anticipation. However, I started to think about things that could go wrong, like, “What if I fall with the Torch?” or worse, “What if I get there too late and miss it?” or “What if there is a snow blizzard that day?”
I also wondered if I’d be able to do this without crying as I felt very emotional and tears would well up when I thought about it.
The weekend of the event finally arrived. My daughter, son-in-law and two grandkids arrived from Calgary. We went to the Leisure Centre to enjoy some of the free events in celebration of the flame arriving in Medicine Hat.
I hardly slept that night for fear of being late. I had to be at the Bow Island Arena by 8:30 am even though my run wasn’t until 10:03 am. Arriving right on time, I was met by a VANOC representative who checked my ID and gave me my Torchbearer number, 036, and stuck it to my uniform jacket. There were seven other TB’s there too and after the representative gave us a talk about the history of the Olympics and Torchbearers (more tears welling up) she had us introduce ourselves. We were then given our individual Torches and after chatting to each other for a while we had some group photos taken on the ice rink. We had a short rehearsal in the street on how to pass the torch and go carefully on the very icy road surface. We then boarded the bus to take us to our individual locations for receiving the flame. On the bus we were shown inspirational Olympic videos. You guessed it – more tears.
Once I was in place on my corner I was feeling very excited and glad to be finally there. My grandkids, Aidan, 6, and William, 4 had signs saying “Go Nana Go”, my daughter and my husband were taking pictures and my son-in-law taking video. I felt like a star! I looked down the street and here was the flame coming to me for my “moment.”
The torchbearer, Melanie, lit my Torch and we high-fived and did a dance and then I was on my way. It was exhilarating! No tears, just smiles, waving and concentrating on staying horizontal on the slippery road surface. Lots of friends came to share my experience and cheer me on. I took the Torch into the morning break at the arena and the mayor made a speech outside on a small stage and there were lots of people and more cheering. Many people wanted their picture taken with the Torch and I was very happy and honoured to oblige. The whole experience was magical. I now have the Torch on display in my living room complete with the soot from the flame.
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Royal LePage Performance Realty in Ottawa has a claim no other real estate office can make: they have two Olympic gold medal winners in their midst.
Sales rep Linda Thom won a gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, in the women’s 25 metre pistol event – becoming the first Canadian woman to win a gold medal in the Summer Olympics since 1928, and the first Canadian to win a gold medal in the Summer Olympics since 1968.
Thom was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1985, and in 1992 was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Rob Marland, also a sales rep at the brokerage, competed in two consecutive Summer Olympics in 1988 in Seoul, and then in Barcelona in 1992. In Barcelona, he won the gold medal for rowing in the men’s eight. Marland was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of fame in 1994 and is also the recipient of the Sports Federation of Canada Achievement award.
“We are proud of Linda and Rob’s achievements. The dedication, perseverance and hard work required to be an Olympic athlete are qualities that have also served them well in their careers as successful real estate sales representatives,” says Pierre de Varennes, broker of record/owner of Royal LePage Performance Realty.
Thom and Marland both participated in the Torch Relay – Marland in Ottawa on Dec. 12th and Thom in Niagara Falls on Dec. 21.
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Les Myers, a sales rep with Royal LePage State Realty in Hamilton, took part in the Torch Relay in Thorold, Ont.
“It was an amazing experience and I am so lucky to have been chosen to carry the flame,” he says. “Some of my clients and a lot of friends and family went to Thorold to cheer for me. I ran in the downtown section, where the mayor did a speech with the town crier. When the flames were lit, the mayor stood between us and posed for pictures.
“The week before I was invited to the Thorold town council meeting, where some of us were presented with thank you certificates and pins.
“There is no feeling like it. It really makes you proud to be a Canadian and to see everyone come out to be part of Canadian history.”
Posted: 2010-02-19 08:20:12
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