By Steph Gellaty
When third-year business management student Vanessa Lewis heard that Canada had won the 2010 Winter Olympic bid, she told her twin sister, “we just have to go!”
The sisters can’t make it to Vancouver in February, but Lewis will contribute in her own way by carrying the Olympic flame for Canada on Dec. 19 in Milton, Ont.
Lewis submitted a self-nomination to run the Olympic flame through a contest, sponsored partly by Coca-Cola. She submitted a short essay about active living and her contribution to help fight climate change.
“It just feels like such a patriotic thing, carrying the flame for my country. I can’t go to the Olympics, but this is something I can do,” she said.
Lewis got a voicemail from Coca-Cola on Canada Day saying she had been chosen to run the torch. Her twin, Venesse, heard her scream from across the house, “I’m going to carry the torch!”
“I had second thoughts at first,” Lewis said, “but then I called back right away.”
Lewis’ family is thrilled that she was chosen to represent her hometown. “We’re in a country that’s not perfect, but we have so many liberties to celebrate,” sister Venesse Lewis said. “This is something we should be proud to be a part of.”
Fouth-year radio and television arts student, Naomi Cowan, was hand-picked by Ryerson’s President Sheldon Levy to also carry the Olympic torch.
“She was on the board, was great at representing the university and I think it’s the right thing for a student to do it,” Levy said.