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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Why Wayne Gretzky shouldn't light the Olympic Cauldron

It's not that I have anything against Wayne Gretzky, I know he was one of the greatest hockey players ever but I agree with Neate Sager that he is not the one to carry the torch on it's final leg and light the Cauldron in Vancouver to open the Games. He is/was a professional athelete and I still have a problem with professionals being allowed to participate in the games. Is it really the Olympic ideal to have overpaid hockey or basketball stars taking part in something that was meant to be for amateurs? I know, it is supposed to be the best in their fields but putting multi millionaires in with men and women who choose to live barely above the poverty line in some cases so that they can pursue their passion is absurd, it demeans the Games for everyone.

Neate Sager has proposed that Betty Fox, the mother of Terry Fox carry the flame up to the cauldron. Terry ran a marathon a day on an artificial leg to raise money and awareness of cancer back in 1980. Twenty-six miles every day, rain or shine from Newfoundland on Canada's Atlantic coast to his hometown of Vancouver on the Pacific. He made it 3,339 miles when his cancer returned and he had to give up in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He died on June 28th 1981. He wasn't paid to run, he didn't have sponsors backing him. His support team consisted of his brother and a friend driving a van behind him collecting money from people along the highway. His goal was initially to raise $1,000,000 but by the time he reached Ontario he decided to make it $1 for every Canadian, 24 million in 1980. Although he didn't live to see that goal reached his legacy of the Terry Fox Foundation and the runs participated in by almost every school child in Canada and around the world every September have raised over $400 million to date.

I saw Terry run past on the highway near our farm when I was 14 years old. At the time I thought it was a cool thing he was doing but fortunately back then I knew no one with cancer. That, and I remember thinking that his brother was cute. Now as a mother of three boys I see Terry Fox very differently. He symbolizes what a person can do when they put their mind to it. How someone can overcome insurmountable odds to do the impossible - run a marathon a day, every day for 143 days. Terry was an athlete in the truest sense of the word, he didn't run for fame or fortune, he ran for others and he inspired a nation. His mother should carry the torch in Vancouver and light the flame and finish the Olympic Relay at the Pacific where Terry meant to finish his Marathon of Hope over 30 years ago.

20 comments:

  1. i agree as far as professionals go...and i think Terry would be a great and inspiring story that symbolizes what the games are about...

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  2. Wow, great story about Fox. I like Gretzky, but you're right. Fox's mother is the one who should carry the torch. Good call.

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  3. I agree! No disrespect to Wayne, but even HE has to admit that Fox's mother is the best choice.

    I really like your blog. I'm your newest follower, and I must say I love, love, LOVE the title you have chosen!! Words to live by!

    Have a great weekend!!

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  4. I agree! Here from the Friday follow!

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  5. followin you via friday follow
    have a great weekend

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  6. Thanks you all for dropping by, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on a frigid morning.

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  7. I love your header..makes me miss snow (FL here) Following you from Friday Follow! http://www.thriftyandfrugalliving.com

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  8. What a fun site! So glad I found you! Stopped by from Friday Follow and now following you! Hope to see you soon.....
    Susan

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  9. Following you from the Friday Follow!

    http://stacievaughansblog.blogspot.com

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  10. thanks for the video! can't wait until the olympics this year:) following you from the friday follow!

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  11. Doing the friday follow thing. Have a great weekend!

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  12. I totally agree with you about Wayne and professional athletes in the Olympics!

    Happy Friday Follow!
    Holly
    www.504main.blogspot.com
    www.hipweddings.blogspot.com

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  13. Found you through Friday Follow! Great blog, I'm now a Google Friend Connect Follower! :)

    Visiting from My Kids Are Fun!

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  14. Couldn't agree more.

    New Friday Follower!

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  15. I completely agree and I guess Wayne did it after all. I wasn't super excited watching him doing it.

    Following you from Friday Follow!

    Tag, you're it....

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  16. I couldnt agree more.

    I came over from Friday Follow! I'm a day late...but better late than never, huh?

    I'm your newest follower! Will ya follow me back? :)

    Shannon at:http://www.milkandcuddles.com/

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  17. Thanks for participating in Friday Follow. I am catching up to the links. Rita @ http://one2try.blogspot.com/

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  18. Adorablw blog! Catching up from Friday Follow! I'm now following! Love for you to come visit me!

    ~Shelley @ Shelley's Swag

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