Olympic torch passes through Waterloo

The 2010 Olympic Torch Relay made its way though Waterloo on Sunday Dec. 27, beginning at the intersection of King and Union Street, passing Wilfrid Laurier University, and finally ending at Kitchener City Hall at 7 p.m.

King Street was lined with onlookers as the torch made its way through the city, with a large crowd filling the town square and even taking up places on surrounding roofs to watch as a hand-off took place above the square’s skating rink.

RBC and Coke, the official sponsors of the relay, lead the procession through Waterloo with their display trucks, carrying entertainers and handing out collectable glowing coke bottles to the on-looking children.

The torch made its way towards city hall carried by Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of Research in Motion, who was the second-last torchbearer. He handed it off to Pat Doherty, a Kitchener community member who has recently been honoured with a Special Achievement Award for his outstanding community involvement, and is recognized for his long standing involvement with local, provincial and national hockey.

Doherty travelled with the torch for its final 500 meters onto the stage in front of city hall, lighting the ceremonial cauldron with flame that began its journey in Greece.

The relay itself will visit every province and territory in Canada covering 45,000 kilometers and touching over 1,000 communities before concluding at Vancouver’s BC Place on Feb. 12.

“The Olympic flame is a symbol of peace and friendship, of inspiration and passion and above all it is a symbol of unity,” said chair of the celebration task force Ann Bilodeau.

The torch continued on its journey Monday morning, leaving Kitchener after an Aboriginal Sunrise Celebration at the city hall.