Olympic hopeful lighting cauldron in Port Hardy

PORT HARDY - Local gymnastics star and 2012 Olympic hopeful Brittany Falconer has been selected as Port Hardy’s final torch bearer and is looking forward to lighting the local Olympic cauldron Tues., Feb. 2 at the Civic Centre.

Brittany Falconer

Gazette staff

PORT HARDY – Local gymnastics star and 2012 Olympic hopeful Brittany Falconer has been selected as Port Hardy’s final torch bearer and is looking forward to lighting the local Olympic cauldron Tues., Feb. 2 at the Civic Centre.

“I am honoured to be the torch bearer for the lighting ceremony as part of the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay in my home town of Port Hardy,” says Falconer, who started her career five years ago in Port Hardy at Funtastic Gymnastics and Trampoline Centre under coach and mom Heidi Mathieson.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as a role model and mentor to younger athletes, and enjoy spending my free time as a volunteer coach for aspiring gymnasts,” says Falconer. “I personally feel that being a supportive role model and mentor is paramount to the success of our future athletes and to the sport that I love.”

A lengthy process that looked at many potential honorees named Falconer as Port Hardy’s official torch bearer.

“Celebration communities are not allowed to run contests or ask for community nominations,” explains Mayor Bev Parnham. “It is up to the individual communities’ Olympic Torch Relay Committees to identify and choose candidates for this process. This was very difficult, as our region has many community champions and outstanding role models and we could choose only one.

“The Torch Relay Committee chose Brittany because she exemplifies the Olympic spirit and motto of ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger,’” continues Parnham. “Her athleticism, combined with her determination to represent Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, make her a shining example of what can be achieved by hard work and determination.”

Falconer, now 19, has been a competitive trampolinist for five years, a member of Team BC’s trampoline team for three seasons, has successfully competed in both the National Gymnastics Championships and Canada Cup and is currently one of the highest jumping females in B.C.

Falconer is ranked third in trampoline in the open women’s category, after the May 2009 Canadian National Championships in Hamilton, Ontario. In her first competition in 2010, Falconer earned a gold and a bronze.

Falconer trains year-round in Kelowna, B.C., where coach Angelo Despotas is “very pleased” with the commitment she has made to the sport. “I know how excited she is to be a torch bearer and she deserves it,” said Despotas.

Other torch bearers include the North Island Eagles peewee rep hockey team, which includes young hockey players from many communities in our region, and torch bearers from numerous Island communities who were chosen to run in Port Hardy by relay sponsors at RBC and Coca-Cola.

Lists of torch bearers are available on RBC and Coca-Cola websites. The Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) has determined the route, much of the community celebration programming, and the selection of torch bearers.

“I congratulate Brittany on the opportunity to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime event,” concludes Mayor Parnham. “She represents the true spirit of our community in her commitment to sport and in her volunteer efforts to promote gymnastics to the next generation of Canadian athletes. I look forward to cheering Brittany on as she carries the torch and as she pursues her dreams of representing Canada in 2012.”

Just Posted

VIDEO: Pride flag unveiled at North Island College in Port Hardy

Festivities included a barbecue, cupcakes, buttons, and rainbows flags for people to wave proudly.

Loggers Golf Tournament returns to the links at Seven Hills Golf and Country Club

The North Island Logger’s Golf Tournament has been running for over 30 years.

Port McNeill Kids in Motion gets 300 bucks from council for swimming time at outdoor pool

Port McNeill Kids in Motion are a registered non-profit society,

Tyson’s Thoughts: Flag raising ceremony a great start to pride festivities

It was beautiful to see a group of people celebrate who they truly are and not be afraid to do so.

Blue Sox dominate Sneak Attack at Fathers Day Classic

Blue Sox got out to an early lead and kept building on it with strong hitting and quality fielding.

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Ginger Goodwin’s Cumberland cemetery grave desecrated

Just days before the Miners Memorial weekend, Ginger Goodwin’s grave has been… Continue reading

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

Most Read