In the 1956 an athlete called Jackie MacDonald (b. 1932) took part in the Melbourne Olympic Games, competing in the discus throwing and shot put events. She had won a silver and a bronze medal for Canada in the Commonwealth Games. She is still regarded with respect for these achievements and for this year's lead up to the winter Olympic Games in Vancouver she was one of the famous Canadian sportspeople allowed to carry the Olympic Torch. Apparently there were about 12000 of these people across the provinces and as many torches too! The bearers had the option of buying their own torch (I hadn't realised that) which they could then keep. Each of these elegant objects was made by Bombardier and did not come cheap. There were words engraved on the side, quoting from the National Anthem:
with glowing hearts/ les plus brillants exploits
At the Nigerian Ambassador's house this morning a group of us met Jackie MacDonald; she told us about her experiences bearing the torch and passed it around so that we each got to hold it. It felt heavier than expected, weighing 1.6kg.