Olympic build up great experience for Spirit of BC committee

Cowichan Lake Friendship Ambassador Alana White with 2010 Olympic mascot Miga during the Spirit of BC celebrations in February of last year at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena

Cowichan Lake Friendship Ambassador Alana White with 2010 Olympic mascot Miga during the Spirit of BC celebrations in February of last year at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena

Being directly involved in the build-up to the 2010 Winter Olympics has been a great experience for the valley’s Spirit of B.C. committee members.

John Elzinga (Lake Cowichan), Betty James (North Cowichan) and Denise McKinlay (Duncan) have witnessed first-hand how people have embraced the Olympic spirit whole-heartedly.

“There’s so much excitement around it,’’ said Elzinga.

The committee’s been hard at work for so many years, it’s gratifying to see the end of the line in sight.

Olympic fever really started to heat up last February during the one-year countdown to the Games.

Olympic mascots were in attendance at a public skating session and celebration at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena and curling lounge while a live band performed.

The torch relay that passed through the valley Oct. 31 generated an impassioned response.

Strong community support was witnessed previously at other events through the 2010 Legacies Now program. “The Olympic people wanted to have the idea of a legacy started before the Olympics,’’ explained Elzinga.

The Spirit of Cowichan celebration 2008 was timed with the B.C. 150-year program and launch of the spirit pole during the North American Indigenous Games, Elzinga noted.

All systems are go now for the next Spirit of B.C. week to coincide with the opening of the Olympics during the second week of February.

If you have a story to share about how you have caught the Olympic Spirit, we’d like to hear it. Contact the editor at editor@lakecowichangazette.com or call 749-4383 and tell us your story.