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Sens president catches Olympic spirit

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Senators president Cyril Leeder proudly carries the Olympic flame down King Edward Avenue during the Olympic Torch Relay this morning. The coast-to-coast relay is making its way to the opening ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Games.

The Olympic spirit filled Cyril Leeder as he made his way along King Edward Avenue on Monday morning.

Undoubtedly, it's an experience the Ottawa Senators president won't soon forget.

With darkness still enveloping the downtown streets, Leeder joined the Olympic Torch Relay that has captured the imagination of the national capital region since the flame arrived in Gatineau on Friday night.

"It was an emotional 300 metres," Leeder said of his journey down King Edward between Laurier Ave. East and Osgoode Street. "it was a very proud and humbling moment.  I have always been a proud Ottawan and Canadian, but never more so than this morning while carrying the torch."

Leeder was one of four members of the Senators organization to take part in the torch relay, which will eventually wind its way to the opening ceremony of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver on Feb. 12. On Friday night, Ottawa centre Mike Fisher ran a leg of the relay in Gatineau, while general manager Bryan Murray carried the flame from the Alexandra Bridge into Ottawa on Saturday afternoon.

On Sunday morning, the torch relay made its way up Palladium Drive past Scotiabank Place, with Bill Courchaine, the Senators' director of sales and corporate sponsorships, doing the honours. It was a proud series of moments for the organization.

"The Olympic Torch Relay captures the true meaning and essence of the Olympic spirit and I was honoured to have been selected to participate," said Leeder. "It was truly a spectacular experience."

With 12,000 torchbearers covering a distance of more than 45,000 kilometres in 106 days, the Vancouver torch relay is the longest in Olympic history.


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