Torch Bearers, Members of the Olympic Torch Relay, Six Nations Athletes, Honoured Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen:
As you have just heard, all significant events in our territory begin with a traditional Thanksgiving.
I will continue the Thanksgiving theme in comments I will share with you this evening.
An Olympic Thanksgiving
- We are thankful to our Creator/God for the opportunities and challenges he has blessed us with.
- We are thankful for occasions when our physical ability and skills, in sports and athletics can be tested against others who seek competitive engagement.
- We are thankful the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay has arrived safely in our territory.
- We are thankful Six Nations of the Grand River has an opportunity to share our athletic and sporting excellence with the World.
- We are thankful for and proud of our community members who will participate as Olympic Torch Bearers this evening.
- We are thankful for our sports heroes and legends: those who are long since passed; those who are still with us to share their accomplishments and those amazing young athletes yet to be born.
- We are thankful for and celebrate the talents and dedication of the thousands of athletes that will journey to Vancouver a few months time. Our prayers and best wishes go to those athletes who have suffered untimely injuries delaying their Olympic dreams. We know your eyes remain on the flame and we know you will continue your quest in years to come.
- We are thankful for dedicated coaches who instil commitment and discipline.
- We are thankful for those dedicated individuals who work within our sporting organization – your work has not gone un-noticed.
- We are so very thankful and appreciative of parents, grandparents, siblings, spouses, aunts, uncles and cousins, who play a major role in supporting the dreams and determination of our athletes. Every athlete realizes they can be lifted to extraordinary feats of athletic achievement when supported by the love of their family, community and nation.
Creator/God, we ask you to bless this evenings celebration with the true spirit of Olympic endeavour. We ask you to bless and hold safe every man, woman and child who see peace, love and hope in the torch passing through our community. Images of this evening will burn lasting memories in the minds, hearts and spirits of everyone in attendance.
Though the flame will depart in a short time, it leaves behind embers that can be fanned to ignite the spirits of our youth to pursue athletic and sporting dreams at all levels, including: national, international and the Olympics.
Creator/God and all who are present here this evening: It is my honour to welcome the Olympic Torch and members of the Olympic Torch Relay to Six Nations of the Grand River.
David M. General