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Local Youth Guards Olympic Flame

Once the Olympic Flame is lit in Olympia, Greece,it must be tended to 24 hours a day to ensure it stays lit until the final moments of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. In recognition of the Aboriginal tradition of fire keepers, 11 young Aboriginal men and women aged 19-25, have been selected as Flame Attendants including a Thunder Bay resident.

Janine Landry, Olympic Flame Attendant, with the RBC mascotJanine Landry, a second-year Lakehead University student and St. Ignatius High School graduate, was one of the 11 chosen Canada-wide for this distinct honour. Janine will work alongside the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to maintain the lanterns and keep the backup flames burning for the duration of the Torch Relay until it reaches her hometown of Thunder Bay on Jan. 3, 2010. Janine began her 40-day tour Nov. 27 in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Flame attendants must also guide torchbearers during the relay while the flame is carried and passed from torch to torch. Individual torchbearers run a 300 metre leg; Janine will be running the entire relay every day she is on duty. To prepare for the task, she began training this summer through long-distance running and working with a personal trainer.

Janine is one of just three Métis Youth Flame Attendants and is thrilled to represent both the Métis culture and youth during this historic Olympic event, as well as her hometown.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Janine. “The Flame Attendant position is brand new to the Relay and for me to be involved is such an honour. I can’t wait to see all of the energy, enthusiasm and Olympic spirit of people along the way. I am so proud to be a part of it.”

Janine was nominated by a Métis Nation Elder and subsequently underwent an extensive interview and testing process in Vancouver this September.