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Roldan Sevillano Jr.     A little piece of history
  Roldan Sevillano Jr. with torchbearers Sheryl De Leon and Ross Naringahon in Portage la Prairie

“A little piece of history in the palm of my hand!” This was the unforgettable thought rushing through Filipino torchbearers, Ross Naringahon and Sheryl De Leon as they carried out their Olympic privilege on Thursday January 7, 2010. The morning of that day started with De Leon running the torch in Carman, Manitoba and eventually made its way to Portage la Prairie, Manitoba with Naringahon. Grade 10 students from St. Boniface Diocesan High, they are the lucky 2 of 12 youth from that school selected to participate.

Naringahon exclaims, “It was a feeling like no other. Holding that torch high and proud in my hand was such an honour for me and my school. What humbled me the most is in knowing that I am holding the flame connects everyone all around the world.”

De Leon adds, “Above everything else, it was an emotional experience. I chose not to wipe off the smoke marks left on my torch. It’s a reminder of the Olympic flame that means so many things to so many people. It truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am glad to have been a part of something so big.”

The Olympics over the decades has grown to be more than a gathering of athletic talent. It inspires future Olympians, youth, young adults and seasoned competitors alike to champion their athletic potential all for the love of the sport. It is an opportunity for patriotism and love for country. The Olympics above everything else is a call to unity and peace. It is the mutual venue where differences among nations are met with celebration and not conflict. This is the spirit of the Olympics.

Roldan Sevillano Jr., works as a Recreation Therapist in a Winnipeg nursing home.

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