I was very honoured to be chosen to represent Ontario, and to be joined by Law Enforcement Torch runners from across Canada to promote and celebrate the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games, held in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
When we arrived to Halifax, we were strangers but with a common passion, raising funds and awareness for Special Olympics. It was evident that Ontario really is one of the leading programs in Canada, and each time I had to introduce my province, I was very proud to say I was from Ontario. Over the course of 5 days, we ran across the province, through many towns that welcomed us always with warm hospitality and some local traditions. We would run through the town and then stop to meet the crowd, share our story, and invite everyone to meet us in Antigonish.
At some stops, there was only the Mayor and a handful of residents there to greet us, and other stops, there seemed to be the entire town, but each one was memorable. My favourite stops always included those where we were met by athletes who were so excited to see the Torch, and some were headed to Antigonish to compete in their sport. They were so excited to have seen the torch on its way.
When we finally arrived in Antigonish, we ran into the sea of waiting parents and friends, waiting to go into the arena for the opening ceremonies. Each one of us were able to carry the torch for a portion of the run into the opening ceremony, representing the torch crossing from province to province, starting with Yukon and all the way to Nova Scotia. It was an amazing experience, one I will never forget, and I left with a smile on my face and many new friends from across the country.