Stevenson's Olympic run burns brightly
Friday, February 5, 2010 11:01 AM
As 15-year-old Katie Stevenson ran through the streets of Lindsay, Ontario, clasping the Olympic Torch, only one thing was going through her mind, "Don't drop this Katie, don't drop this!"
* Photo supplied. William Hutchings, sailing for Tufts University, finished second at the Freshman New England Championships.
The young Bermudian had been chosen to take part in the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay - a 45,000km journey across Canada where 12,000 torchbearers carried the Olympic Flame from coast to coast to coast.
"Dropping the torch was my biggest fear," Katie said. "I probably would have cried! Although at least I would've been on the news for first person to drop the Olympic torch!
"It was pretty heavy and somehow I had to hold it up, run and smile.
"It was pretty amazing. I really couldn't believe what was happening and it wasn't that long so I had to soak it all up within 50 metres."
Katie ran her "leg" on December 16 with 12 of her classmates from Trinity College School.
Katie was chosen to take part in the relay because of her involvement in the school's mentoring programme.
"Last year an older student asked me to be their 'mentee' in our Train Like an Olympian Programme," Katie explained. "We trained and exercised for the remaining of the year together and over the summer my teacher entered a contest where we ended up winning out of many other schools in Ontario for our mentor programme.
"Our prize was to carry the Olympic torch!"
In the lead up to her big moment Katie's gym teacher would have the students run with their hands in the air.
Katie said the "whole town" of Lindsay came out to watch the torch pass through.
"After we lit the torch we walked down in two lines through the crowd.
"Everyone was there cheering and clapping and all of us were just smiling.
"It was our 50 metres of fame and it was the best feeling! "People were running next to us and clapping and screaming. "The atmosphere was just incredible."
Katie's mom, publisher of the Bermudian Publishing Company Tina Stevenson, flew all the way from Bermuda to cheer her daughter on.
"She tried to keep up when I was carrying it and cheer me on and for the few minutes she did, it was great, I loved her enthusiasm she was almost more excited than I was," Katie said.
She added: "It was amazing. Truly a moment I'll never forget.
"I feel so honored and to be from Bermuda, such a small place, is something I could never had imagine I'd be able to do."
The relay will finish at BC Place on February 12, 2010, with the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron, signaling the start of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.