As an Olympics buff and being a Canadian on top of it I’ve been thinking the last couple of days about who the organizers from the Vancouver Olympic Committee (VANOC) have in store for us tonight to light the Olympic cauldron. As has become custom there is a lot of secrecy involved. VANOC CEO John Furlong said yesterday that Wayne Gretzky would not be the one lighting the cauldron. Was that just a decoy?
I just had to put together a little list of people who could be the person to light the cauldron.
- Wayne Gretzky – Is there a more recognizable Canadian anywhere in the world? A legendary hockey player he never did win the Gold Medal as a player but he did put together the 2002 Gold Medal winning Canadian team that ended a 50 year drought. A recent poll showed that 25% of Canadians want him to get the honors.
- David Suzuki – A prominent Canadian scientist who’s done a lot of work studying climate change around the globe. He happens to be a Vancouver native. In 2004 he was named the 5th greatest Canadian of all time by the people of Canada.
- Barbara Ann Scott – She was a Gold Medalist at the 1948 Winter Olympics. She is one of the oldest living Canadian Gold Medalist and as far as I can tell she is the oldest Canadian Woman still alive who won Gold.
- Betty Fox – A name most will not recognize but is one that has been floating around. She is the mother of Terry Fox, who is widely recognized as one of the greatest humanitarians Canada has ever seen. He died of cancer but helped raise a lot of money for research running across the country even after one of his legs had to amputated. The IOC has already announced that they will give out a “Terry Fox Award”
- Trevor Linden – He played parts of 16 seasons for the Vancouver Canucks. He is well respected in the community for his charity work
- Nancy Greene – She was voted Canada’s Female Athlete of the 20th Century. She won a Gold and a Silver at the 1968 Winter Olympics.
- Larry Walker – A native of nearby Maple Ridge, Larry Walker played 17 seasons in the MLB. He is one of the greatest baseball players Canada has ever produced but with this being a Winter Olympics he is a long shot.
- Rick Hansen – Paralyzed from the waist down at the age of 15 he has gone on to become one of the greatest Wheel Chair athletes of all time.
- Gordie Howe – How can you go wrong with Mr. Hockey? His numbers more than speak for themselves.
- Paul Henderson – Scored one of the most famous goals in Canadian history.
Who did I miss? Who will it end up being? One thing is for sure though. Whoever ends up with the honor will not top the greatness that was Muhammad Ali’s appearance at the 1996 lighting ceremony.
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