Tremblant ski resort to host Olympic Torch

Posted By: Steve Bellamy on November 26, 2009 9:30 am

In less than two weeks, Tremblant, the ski resort in Canada with the beautiful village and the nexus of too many college ski trips to mention will host the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, presented by Coca-Cola and RBC and supported by the Government of Canada.
The event takes place on December 9th and brings the Olympic Torch to its much awaited stop in the Laurentians, where it will be carried by two guests of honour who contributed immensely to the ski industry.
The first guest is Peter Duncan, slalom and downhill skier, who joined the Canadian ski team at the age of 16. He has collected many honours and received, in 1969, the John Semmelink trophy, given to the athlete who best represented Canada internationally with athletic skills, his spirit of competition, his conduct and his performances. Following his career as a competitive skier, he has been highly successful behind the microphone as a skiing commentator and analyst. He will soon be seen at the Vancouver Olympics where he will comment on Alpine skiing. He has been doing this over the years with great success at many Olympic Games as well as most World Cup events. Mr. Duncan will carry the Olympic Torch as he skis down Tremblant, the mountain to which he has been very attached for years.
The other guest of honour is Peggy Austin, who is not only the daughter of Hermann Smith Johannsen, better known as JackRabbit, but also a ski champion of the ‘30s in her own right. At that time, competitors had to climb to the top of the mountain to reach the starting gate. In some cases, such as the Taschereau track where most races were held at Tremblant, this could take a several hours and the duration of the downhill race was often four minutes or more. Peggy Austin, who won numerous medals, took the gold medal at the inaugural Taschereau in 1937, placed 2nd in 1938 and came first again in 1939, the year in which Joe Ryan opened the resort where these races became part of Tremblant’s history. This lady is a legend for her ski performances, competing on skis that didn’t have steel edges and were very difficult to control.
The celebrations for the Olympic Torch Relay start at 9 a.m. on Wednesday December 9, from the Place des Voyageurs, where entertainment, jugglers and fire-eaters will also await visitors. The relay will move up the rue des Remparts to the bottom of the ski slopes where spectators can watch Peter Duncan ski down the last pitch with the torch. Peggy Austin will then take over and carry the torch to the Place St-Bernard where it will stop on the stage for the viewing pleasure of the audience and for a small presentation to the guests of honor. The Olympic Torch Relay will then move back down the rue des Remparts and then leave Tremblant site. Great time in Canada.
The Olympic Torch Relay will end in Vancouver in February 2010 where Tremblant’s own athletes, Jasey-Jay Anderson and Erik Guay are expected at the Winter Olympics.