Motivation, moments and ‘so much more’

Brooskwood student Emily Rowell carried the Olympic torch to inspire young people.

It was all over in an instant. Or at least it seemed that way.

”I was scared when I held the torch because I have a fear of fire,” said Emily Rowell.

”And then before I knew it, I was passing it off and it was over.”

Rowell, a 17-year-old Grade 11 student at Brookswood Secondary, had the honour of being part of the Olympic torch relay.

She ran her leg back in late December in Midland, Ont.

”It was really, really cool,” she recalled. ”All the people lined up, clapping and cheering for us.”

Rowell was chosen as a torchbearer through her work with the group Motivate Canada, a non-profit organization empowering youth through sports and recreation.

The group had 20 spots for its youth leaders — who would run as one — and asked those interested to submit a short essay on why they should be considered.

”I think that the Olympics are a fascinating part of history,” Rowell wrote. ”The fact they represent peace between nations is an important reminder for today’s world.

”I find that the Olympics are too often viewed as a big competition — which they are — but they are an opportunity for much more. I wish to represent that ’so much more’ for the young people of Canada.”

Another reason Rowell pursued this opportunity was because of her grandfather, Frederick Rowell, who had a long and storied involvement with the Canadian Olympic track and field team. He was also inducted into the B.C.Sports Hall of Fame for his work in the sport as a builder back in 1992.

”I think Granddad would have done it and he would have wanted me to do it,” she said.

Even a few weeks after she ran the relay, the memories are still fairly fresh and vivid

The group ran for about a total of one kilometre, with each person carrying the torch for 50 metres.

”At the very end, we all gathered in one big group and were just jumping up and down, not really singing, but yelling O Canada,” she recalled.

”It was so much energy and so much love. It was pretty cool.”

And even more special than the fact she was a torchbearer, is what has transpired since.

”One of the best parts isn’t so much that I got to run with it, but getting to tell people and seeing their facial expressions,” she said. ”Just being able to share that joy.”

Just Posted

VIDEO: Riding against MS in Langley

MS Bike — Fraser Valley Experience collects more than $140,000

VIDEO: Langley City legendary water fight was a soaking good time

And perfectly timed for a hot weather warning

Southgate church eyes new facility, farm in rural Langley

Church is applying to the ALC for non-farm use on a 15-acre parcel at 16 Avenue and 200 Street

It’s about to get hot: Special weather statement issued for Lower Mainland

Temperatures expected to rise and stick around till next week, Environment Canada forecasts

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

SilverStar officially opens Gondola

The brand-new gondola is now offering scenic rides for visitors on SilverStar Mountain Resort.

VIDEO: Man climbs crane in Abbotsford

Police, fire called to deal with climber last night

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Most Read