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Sandra Beck, Senior Pharmacy Technician, Princess Margaret Hospital, shares her experience as an Olympic torch bearer:
My Olympic moment started on an early, brisk morning in Whitby. I wore the traditional Olympic torch bearer suit which was three sizes too big, but I wore it with patriotic pride.
After a briefing on the logistics of the day, 20 of us jumped into the Olympic bus that drove us each to our assigned locations. You could practically taste the excitement in the bus! I could see the tears welling in some of my fellow torch bearers' eyes, but I managed to control the waterworks during the bus ride.
We slowly dropped off each torch bearer at their location, my anticipation rising as my turn got closer. My heart began to race as I saw the Olympic torch coming towards me. It was finally my turn! The torch bearer before me lit my personal torch, gave me some last minute instructions and I was on my way to see my fans. Most were strangers, but my fiancée, friends and co-workers were out supporting me. I'm very thankful that they came to watch, bearing the cold, early morning to share in my moment.
With the torch in my hand, the flame burning, I began my attempt at a "slow jog." The torch escorts attempted to speed me up but I embraced every minute with the torch; posing for photos, waving at the locals, my friends, even passing cars, I didn't care who they were, I was carrying the Olympic torch!
My entire route was 300 metres, which lasted about four minutes. Time almost stood still as a rush of emotions flowed over me. But, before I knew it, I met the next runner and passed on the flame.
Thankfully, each torch bearer has the option to purchase their torch as a souvenir so I didn't have to let go of my torch, just the flame. We brought it to our local pub which resulted in free drinks for all; the torch practically paid for itself. It now sits in my living room, soot and all, and is a constant reminder of my Olympic moment.