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Passing the Torch

by Kristi Hennessy / Edmonton Oilers
Randle Gladue running with the Olympic Torch
Randle Gladue is a current student of Inner City High in Edmonton. Wednesday afternoon, Gladue had an opportunity that he should remember forever. The 19-year-old was selected by Inner City High Principal Joe Cloutier to carry the Olympic torch for the first 300 metres in Edmonton. Cameras and reporters crowded around Gladue at approximately 4:12 pm to watch the Olympic torch ignite and the relay in Edmonton to begin.

“This is an amazing experience, I am so excited,” said Gladue. “I will look back and remember this experience for the rest of my life. I am doing this for my classmates and my school. The torch will stay at Inner City High so everyone can come and see it.”

The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation is so proud to be involved with Inner City High and excited to see Gladue rewarded with this life-changing opportunity. The EOCF has been raising money for the school over the past three years. They have partnered with the YMCA of Edmonton to raise a projected 15 million dollars to build a new school for Inner City High.

The project is set to begin construction this Fall. The school will be 30,000 square feet and include many unique features such as a childcare facility, an aboriginal elder’s room, and dorm housing for students attending the school.

EOCF Executive Director Natalie Minckler (left) with Gladue
“Inner City High is a school for youth at risk between the ages of 16-24. Most who have faced many challenges growing up and are set to get back on track and turn their lives around,” said Executive Director of the EOCF, Natalie Minckler.

“We are so proud to be working with this school and working toward building these students a great facility. We are hoping to create awareness of these students who are focusing on turning their lives around and dedicated to finishing high school. They deserve this new school,” said Minckler.

Randle Gladue was chosen for his strong leadership qualities, hard work and commitment to his school work. He is back on track and set to graduate high school in January 2011. He then hopes to attend Grant MacEwan and one day work as a social worker or with other students at Inner City High.

After Gladue finished his leg of the torch run, Edmonton Oilers Head Coach Pat Quinn had his opportunity to carry the torch. Quinn took the flame just a few minutes after Gladue.

“This is terrific for me,” said Quinn. “What a tremendous honor. I’ve been lucky to have been to the Olympics twice and have such great memories of that. It is going to be a terrific presentation and will be very very successful and obviously we hope to be successful on the podium.”

As an ambassador, Quinn says he is really proud of the work that the committee has done so far and is so honoured to be involved in the whole experience.

“Canadians all across this country have had a chance to carry the flame,” Quinn said. “When you watch the daily presentation on where the torch is, you can recognize our national pride in everybody that has carried that torch.”
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