Taking the torch up north

For Langley resident Calvin Daling, carrying the Olympic torch was an incredible experience.

“It was really exciting,” he said. “The look on people’s faces was definitely unforgettable.”

Last Thursday, Daling carried the torch through Lone Butte, a small community southeast of 100 Mile House. He has connections to the area, as his father lives near there, and he said it was thrilling to see how excited local residents were about the Olympics.

“What really surprised me was just the attitude of people towards it,” he said. “It’s really neat going up there to the smaller towns and seeing how excited everyone is.”

Daling has spent most of his life in Langley. He grew up locally and went to high school at R.E. Mountain Secondary before attending Trinity Western University. He also worked in information technology at Trinity for six years before taking his current position at Terasen Gas. He’s heavily involved in the local sports scene as well, serving as president of the Langley Church Slowpitch League and helping to coach softball and hockey. He said those sports experiences were crucial to his successful bid to carry the torch; he was selected as a torchbearer through a Coca-Cola contest that involved writing an essay about what sport means to him.

Daling, 34, said he’s a huge fan of sports in general, but he particularly likes the Olympics because of the inspiring stories and national pride involved.

“I watch the Olympics every time they come on,” he said. “It really gets you excited about Canada in general.”

Daling said he was thrilled when he found out Vancouver would be hosting the 2010 Games.

“I’ve been pretty excited about the whole Olympic experience ever since I’ve heard Vancouver was getting it,” he said.

He’s a hockey fan in particular, but he’ll watch any Olympic sport.

“I can get just as excited about curling or luge, or anything like that,” he said.

For him, getting to carry the torch was the icing on the cake.

“It was such a unique opportunity.”