Games off to glitzy start
Stanley Cup champion, Olympic gold medallist light flame
There may not have been a parachuting Queen of England, but the opening ceremonies for the 2012 NL Summer Games did have a Stanley Cup champion, an Olympic gold medallist and much, much more.
Harbour Grace natives Danny Cleary and Jamie Korab entered the Carbonear Recreation Complex, torches in hand, to the applause of hundreds of cheering athletes and other onlookers. As the two celebrated local athletes rounded the final corner and hit the home stretch, throngs of athletes lined the track for the chance to catch an up-close glimpse two of Newfoundland’s finest.
The grey sky and threat of rain did not hold back the thunderous applause as Cleary and Korab proudly ascended two sets of stairs on either side of the tower, gave one final wave to the crowd, and lit the torch, officially kicking off the weeklong sporting extravaganza in Carbonear and Harbour Grace.
Even before the two sporting icons took the torches from Don Butt, a wellknown fitness guru from Carbonear, and Sonia Williams of Harbour Grace, who 30 years ago turned in a dominating performance at the ‘82 Winter Games in Labrador, the atmosphere was already highly charged.
The spirited parade of athletes, entertaining muscial performances, wellchoreographed dancing and inspiring words of encouragement and praise from the province’s political elite had already stoked feelings of pride, enthusiasm and anticipation.
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale brought greetings on behalf of the provincial government.
“For more than 37 years, the Newfoundland and Labrador Games program has been encouraging participation in sport and the pursuit of excellence,” she said. “These Games represent the spirit of competition, the joy of achievement and the challenge of excellence.”