A taste of the Olympic spirit

Lyle Carter
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In thanking a lady for her interesting comment while we awaited the exciting moment when Bob Piers would arrive at Victoria Park Tuesday night carrying the Olympic torch, my response in brief.
It's true that many among us are not that knowledgeable regarding the Olympic Games, and there is nothing wrong with that.
More than 60 years have passed since, as a kid, I learned of Barbara Ann Scott winning a figure skating gold medal at the 1948 St. Moritz, Switzerland Olympics. Originating in Athens, Greece, in 1896 the Olympic Games were organized to encourage world peace and friendship and to promote amateur athletics.
With the Games being held every four years, beginning one month before, thousands of runners take part in carrying a lighted torch from Greece across countries, mountains, valleys and water to the host nation and Olympic site. In February, all eyes will be on Vancouver and the 2010 Olympics.
Before the Games begin comes the dramatic moment and the lighting of the Olympic flame. The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games is among the most colourful spectacles in sports. The Olympic flag is raised after all the competing athletes from many countries have marched into the
stadium.
What a taste of the Olympic spirit Tuesday as several thousand spectators cheered on athlete, coach, teacher and devout family man Bob Piers, who carried the Olympic torch to the huge stage which was set up at Victoria Park. As Jason Malloy of this newspaper wrote, "the Olympic torch celebrations made for a powerful night."
Piers and Farida Gabbani were the only two area torchbearers I spoke with and both were humbled, excited and appreciative of the moment.
"It was one of the most amazing things that I have ever been involved with," Gabbani said Wednesday morning after carrying the torch from the Colchester Legion Stadium, 300 metres along Lorne Street and passing it off to Millbrook First Nations Chief Lawrence Paul.
"It was such a special time and it was emotional as well. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and being involved in helping celebrate the 2010 Olympics, this will always be special to me. I want to thank everyone who came out. It meant a lot to have our office workers there, my partner Larry (Anthony), family members, grandchildren and friends all offering their support."
Gabbani, a senior director with the province's Department of Health Promotion and Protection, was nominated by Participaction, a movement promoting Canadians making physical activities a part of their lifestyle.
The former Nova Scotia Teachers College professor is well known on the local sports scene for having assisted Truro Bearcats junior hockey players in the area of education.
A Truro resident for 20 years, Gabbani has been a tireless worker for many years with the Truro Sport Heritage Society and can often be found at local sports facilities as a spectator offering her support to athletes.

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Not going unnoticed in the Brookfield Elks' 4-3 shootout loss to Strait Pirates Tuesday night at the sportsplex in Brookfield was the brilliant play of Elks goaltender Jacob Curry.
The agile 19-year-old turned aside 37 of 40 pucks fired his way through regulation and a five-minute overtime period. If it had not been for Curry the Elks would never have made it to the shootout.
"These are a great bunch of teammates I play with," Curry told me. "We just have to bear down more offensively. Although we haven't been getting the bounces, hopefully things will change. Getting to play some of late, my confidence is up and I'm feeling pretty good after playing a couple games."
Curry is employed with Highland Pulp as a tree-harvester operator.
Sunday night the Brookfield squad travels to play Pictou. The next home game is Tuesday night when Sackville Blazers invade the sportsplex.

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A couple of weeks ago, the day of the Colchester County Sport Hall of Fame induction night, I received a telephone call from Fred Henderson, a member of the Truro Bearcats midget hockey team that won the 1945-46 Maritime championship.
Henderson, Lloyd Mitchell and a number of connections of the team were planning an afternoon lunch at Fletchers Restaurant and I was invited to attend.
As an hour turned into two, many great sport stories were told and many historic hockey moments were revisited. It made for such an enjoyable occasion that no one seemed to want to leave. A tip of the hat to Fletchers Restaurant staff who kindly put up with the noise and laughter that at times turned into a roar.
While still on the subject of the Colchester County Sport Hall of Fame night, my apologies to Al Yarr, presenter for basketball player Larry Archibald's induction.
I incorrectly referred to the longtime outstanding coach last Saturday as Jarr.

Lyle Carter is a Brookfield resident and former NHL hockey player

Organizations: Nova Scotia Teachers College, Olympic Games, Department of Health Promotion and Protection Colchester County Sport Hall Truro Sport Heritage Society NHL

Geographic location: Victoria Park, Greece, Athens Vancouver Brookfield Colchester Legion Stadium Lorne Street Millbrook Truro

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