And We’re Off!!!

03 November 2009

We came, we saw, we conquered!

… well, as far as the launch of the Torch Relay is concerned…

H&K’s Best Teams were in FULL effect last week during the launch of the Olympic Torch Relay in Victoria.  With representation from the Toronto office, Vancouver office and VIctoria office, it was ‘all hands on deck’ and let’s just say – We lived Olympic… through and through… and did a ‘darn’ good job of it!

To re-cap on everything that happened would be impossible – way too many things, way too many hours awake … and frankly where would I start?!… however, I would like to present my Top Ten Favourite Moments of the Olympic Torch Relay Launch…

#10 – Victoria the Beautiful – I must admit, I believe I was about 6 years old the last time I was in Victoria.  It had been a looooong time!  To say that I remembered everything like it was yesterday, would be a lie.  I didn’t remember anything, in fact, I felt like it was a brand new city!  And  BEAUTIFUL one at that!  The quaintness, the lights, the ’small town’ feeling, I honestly felt (on numerous occassions) that I was somewhere far away… I definitely suggest checking it out your next visit out West!

#9 – Behind the Scenes – The life of a PR Consultant may not ALWAYS be glamourous… but sometimes it really is!  Whether it was getting ushered into the Media pit, and having pretty much the best view of the ceremony, or setting up the live-eye hits at the Airport, and then getting the first-class tour of the facilities, including a tour of the helicopters/background… it was pretty great!

 #8 – Patriotism/Pride - Victoria was a sea of red and white… the VANOC red mittens were everywhere, Canadian Flags, Calgary 1988 (FULL ON) Torchbearer uniforms were worn, faces were painted… it was glorious. 

#7 – Coca-Cola | Living Olympic – Coca-Cola ROCKED it on Friday!  The H&K team was decked in our red Coca-Cola gear (wearing it with pride).  We ‘Opened Happiness’ everywhere we went… and had media coverage all over the country to prove it!  :)


#6 – The People We met – You couldn’t walk anywhere without seeing some sort of celebrity, famous athlete, or political figure.  It was awesome!  I saw Jane Seymour walking into the Empress Hotel, saw Lloyd Robertson and Brian Williams at the Bengal Lounge and of course rubbed shoulders with John Furlong – here’s a great pic of my boss Joy Jennissen and John Furlong.

#5 – The Lump in My Throat – Not sure about anyone else who was there Friday morning, but I had a pesky lump in my throat for most of the morning – which only can be blamed on the seamless ceremony, phenomenal inspirational videos, and beautiful speeches made by John Furlong, including the moment of silence for Jack Poole, and the speeches made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Premier Gordon Campbell, and Mayor Gregor Robertson.   I have never felt so proud to be a Canadian!


 #4 – The Tradition – The drums were drumming, voices singing, a constant ‘hum’ was echoed through downtown Victoria – spectacular!  You knew the Torch was coming… my goodness, I have goosebumps typing this!  From the airport, the flame (which was encased in a miners lantern) was brought to the Songhees shoreline then on to a First Nations canoe, which was then paddled over to the Victoria harbour, flanked by two other canoes.  At the dock, the elders asked permission of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations to bring the torch ashore.  Once they had accepted, the First Nations chiefs walked the lantern up to the Legislature and presented it to John Furlong, who then lit the cauldron from the flame. 

 #3- The Unity – Not to sound cheesey, but you couldn’t help but feel the love and the strength in numbers in Victoria on Friday – it was beautiful.  There were people of all ages, of all races, of all demographics, together, united as a country in support of our athletes and with heads held high in pride for our country.  Was lovely…


#2- The Torchbearers – Coca-Cola sure knows how to pick ‘em!  Spending the last few days with the Coca-Cola torchbearers was not only a delight, but was such an inspiration!  These men, women and teens were a constant reminder of what we CAN do if we only put our minds to it!  Coca-Cola chose all of their torchbearers based on two elements - Living Active and Living Green.   Those Canadians who were chosen as Torchbearers, demonstrate (through physical activity or sustainability) that they have made a commitment to the Olympic values.  Brilliant!  Here’s a pick of Dave Calder, Coca-Cola torchbearer chosen for his committment to living Green – he started Here he is on CANADA AM


#1 Good Company - If you’re going to be working all hours of the day (including wake-up calls at 2:30am for a CANADA-AM live eye at the Airport), why not share those hours with colleagues/friends who are awesome and who you love.  Thanks Jill for making Empress room #349 Fun Times… even on hour 23.

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