The chance of a lifetime

Langley’s Emil Lee sees his upcoming chance to carry the Olympic torch as a symbol of average citizens’ involvement in the 2010 Games.

“I thought this would be a great way to participate,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who you are; you can be an ordinary person and dad like me and get to participate in something this large.”

Lee, 40, will be carrying the Olympic torch through Chilliwack on Sunday. His segment of the run is small compared to the overall distance the torch has traveled, but he said the sheer scope of the torch relay makes his role that much more appealing.

“You really get the feeling you’re a part of something greater,” he said. “It’s the chance of a lifetime.”

For Lee, running is not a new experience. He’s done the Sun Run several times and is heavily involved with a local running group. In fact, he used that experience to put together the essay for a Coca-Cola contest that resulted in his selection as a torchbearer.

“I’ve never worked so hard on an essay in my life,” he said.

Lee said there may be some controversies around the Games, but he thinks they’re still incredibly important.

“There’s lots of

caveats to the Olympics, it’s not all sweetness and light, but the Olympics does stand for something,” he said.

Lee is planning to share his Olympic experience with local schoolchildren next week, and he’ll be bringing his torch along.

“A lot of my kids’ class are really excited about having the torch come to them,” he said. “This way, they can get a little inspiration too.”