North Island couple share Olympic spirit

Gazette staff

Valerie MacPherson

Gazette staff

A Port Hardy couple had a dream come true when they were selected as volunteers for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Malcolm and Brenda Fleeton will play integral roles behind the scenes of both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Malcolm is scheduled to work as team leader at B.C. Place Stadium during the opening and closing ceremonies and during the nightly medal presentations. He will also work at the Paralympic opening ceremonies.

Brenda was selected as a communications officer at the athlete’s village in downtown Vancouver and at the curling venue by Queen Elizabeth Park during the Paralympic Games.

Malcolm says he and his wife decided to apply to be volunteers the day the International Olympic Committee awarded the Games to Vancouver.

He said they were on the ferry when it was announced by the captain. A loud cheer erupted amongst passengers.

“We both have been an admirer of the Olympics for years and had pride in how Canadians participated each time,” said Malcolm. “For us, with our involvement in the community for years, it just seemed to be the thing to do and we both waited anxiously for the opportunity to volunteer.”

Malcolm said he and his wife applied online in early 2008 by filling out a questionnaire.

The couple went to Vancouver for interviews, training and criminal record checks. Most of their training will be just before the Games begin.

The pair will typically work four or five days straight and then have one day off.

Most shifts will be between eight and nine hours long, but the Fleetons are expecting to work 16-hour shifts on the opening and closing days.

Malcolm says he is worried he will make a mistake that will result in embarrassment to the Olympics or Canada as he says no two shifts will ever be the same.

But the positives far outweigh the negatives for the couple.

“Brenda is looking forward to taking part in the Olympic excitement and atmosphere and telling people about our part of the province,” says Malcolm.

“For me, the part I’m looking forward to is meeting people from all around the world and making them feel welcome. I hope to be an ambassador for the North Island as well where possible.”

Malcolm says they will both be able to attend the Opening Ceremonies rehearsal, but not attend events.

“Without knowing where and when we would work it did not seem feasible to buy tickets,” said Malcolm.

But he says the perks that come along with volunteering are the memories, the uniform, and free transit when on the job.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but from what I gather in training so far, once you are a part of the Olympic family you are always a member and opportunities will come at future Games around the world,” says Malcolm.

Just Posted

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Port Hardy Fire Rescue’s third quarterly report of 2018

PHFR had 13 practice nights and 11 other training events this quarter.

Port McNeill mayor and council sworn in to office

Port McNeill’s new mayor and council were officially sworn in to office… Continue reading

Vancouver Island brewery re-brands again after cryptic new logo failed

Victoria-based brewers said goodbye to confusing hexagon logo

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

Who was Chris Bloomfield, the Mill Bay man shot by police?

A troubled man with a voracious appetite for illicit drugs and a non-conventional lifestyle

Calgarians head to the polls to declare ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on Winter Games

The question “are you for or are you against hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?” was to be posed to them Tuesday in a plebiscite to help determine whether the city should move ahead with a bid.

Heir’s big birthday: 70 candles lined up for Prince Charles

Prince Charles turns 70 Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, still serving in the heir to the throne role he has filled since he was a young child.

Trudeau lays down challenge to companies in bid to boost trade with Asia

“Building the relationships, building the connections, building the facility and also changing mindsets — getting Canadian companies to see the opportunities we have around the world to partner and invest.”

CNN sues Trump, demanding return of Acosta to White House

CNN is asking for an immediate restraining order to return Acosta to the White House.

Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Two new conservation officers added to Vancouver Island

Port McNeill, Duncan areas to benefit as government creates 20 new positions around BC.

Most Read