The the final leg of the MNP Canada Games Torch Relay will take place Friday, Feb. 15 in Red Deer.
For the first time in the 52-year history of the Canada Games, the torch has made its way across Canada and stopped in nearly 50 communities along the way.
The Torch Relay kicked off in Ottawa where the torch was lit by the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill.
Red Deer torchbearers for the final leg of the Torch Relay on Feb. 15 include: MLAs Barb Miller and Kim Schreiner, City of Red Deer mayor Tara Veer, Red Deer County mayor Jim Wood, Chief Wilton Littlechild, Indigenous advocate Theresa “Corky” Larsen Jonasson, City Manager Craig Curtis, Red Deer College Chairman Morris Flewwelling, philanthropist Gary W. Harris, co-chair of the Games’ Sustainability Committee Rick Van Hemmen, para-athlete Tanner Fandrey, siblings Kentice and Kalian Odongo, City of Red Deer employee and sport enthusiast Shelley Gagnon, Special Olympian Keana Skeels, coach Tim McLenahan, young athlete Erika Driesen, and sport advocate Don Moore.
Erika Driesen is a competitive ringette player and swimmer. In 2016, Erika was diagnosed with cancer and had to stop playing competitively, but that didn’t stop her from being involved in sport. She volunteered to coach and still attended practices and games. Erika persevered and got the all clear. However, Erika has experienced further setbacks in another diagnosis and continues to battle.
Tanner Fandrey, who suffers from Avascular Necrosis and Ankylosing Spondylitis, has competed as a Para-Alpine Sit Skier. He is a three-time National Champion with Team Alberta’s sledge hockey team, a member of Team Canada’s Development Sledge Hockey Team and coaches a recreational sledge program.
Theresa “Corky” Larsen Jonasson is a Cree and Metis woman and lifelong resident of Red Deer. She is an Elder in her community and was recruited to the WWOS National Collective. She is a member of the Alberta Justice Elders Circle and works with many local community groups like Safe Harbor, Turning Point, Urban Aboriginal Voices, Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Network and the Red Deer Native Friendship Society.
Tim McLenahan has been a Junior and High school, and college basketball and volleyball coach and official for 27 years. His great uncle is Roly McLenahan, whom the Canada Games Torch is named after.
The Red Deer Torch Relay is in two legs, a morning leg at Fort Normandeau (10 a.m. speeches followed by 10:30 relay) and an afternoon leg at Hunting Hills High School at (celebration at 4 p.m. with relay to follow at 4:30).
Residents are invited to cheer on torchbearers and volunteers as the first-ever coast-to-coast torch relay for the Canada Winter Games comes to a close in Red Deer.
(Troy Gillard, with file from 2019 Canada Winter Games media release)
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