It’s a dream come true for Deb Radolla.
Saturday night at the Tourism Discovery Centre, Radolla — the City’s manager of active living and also an avid runner and outdoor enthusiast — was named the official community torchbearer for the upcoming Community Torch Relay Celebration.
“As a little girl it was my dream to participate in the Olympics,” Radolla said, addressing approximately 150 friends and guests in attendance. “It’s a huge honour.”
As the official community torchbearer, chosen by the local Spirit of B.C. Committee, Radolla will light the Olympic Torch at the community celebration on Jan. 28 at the Stampede Grounds.
“I’m appreciative that all my work in active living over the years has resulted in something like this,” Radolla said. “I was very excited [when I found out], honoured and overwhelmed.”
In 1980 Radolla moved from Vancouver to Anahim Lake, and began a career with the Cariboo Regional District in active living that has so far spanned 30 years.
On top of organizing multiple community events such as the Dave Jacobs Classic and the Nutrition Run, Radolla volunteers her time working for the local chapter of KidSport — an organization which helps underprivileged children have an opportunity to participate in sport — and multiple healthy living initiatives.
“I’m really looking forward to carrying it, and it has been a dream to do something like this,” she said.
Speaking to the crowd in attendance, Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook said it’s an honour to be introducing such a well-deserved recipient of the task.
“Tonight we will be part of Olympic history,” Cook said, prior to Radolla’s arrival at the TDC. “It’s an honour and an absolute pleasure that tonight we will introduce to you the official community torchbearer.”
Brian Carruthers, chief administrative officer for the City and co-worker of Radolla’s, said he couldn’t think of a more deserving recipient of the privilege.
“I’ve been involved working with Deb for the past 10 years . . . and I could not think of a more deserving person to light the cauldron,” he said, noting Williams Lake is one of just 189 communities across the country that will have an Olympic Torch Relay Celebration.
Also during the announcement, Canadian Tire owner Brian Stefan announced he would be adding a $2,000 donation to a $1,000 donation already made by the local Spirit of B.C. Committee to one of Radolla’s passions, KidSport, totalling a $3,000 contribution.
The Olympic Torch Relay Celebration kicks off on Jan. 28 at 5:30 p.m. at the Stampede Grounds.
Multiple local entertainers will be on stage, along with other performers lined up through VANOC, RBC and Coca-Cola.