Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day 157 Portage la Prairie to MacGregor, Manitoba

Day 157 Jake and I are on another mission as we head out west from Portage la Prairie to our first and only medal bearer meeting point of the day, in MacGregor, Manitoba.

I couldn't help but take a picture of the GPS showing the long straight stretch that I already knew I was travelling on.

Our medal bearer meeting point was also the site of the end of day celebration, the Normac Centre.

Downtown MacGregor, population about 1,100

The tire store back yard consisted of farm fields that went on for as far as the I could see.
It was right across the street from the start of the relay, as least for the medal bearers of MacGregor today. ( 6 of 7,000 people to carry the Rick Hansen 25th anniversary medal) With 7 billion people in the world, that makes each medal bearer one in a million . (stole that one from Kayla, thanks)

We were early to our insertion point, that gave us time to  hang out on the shuttle, watch some videos about the relay, and just savour the experience.

So the sign says! (golf course was closed)


  1. A central stone at the summit of an arch, locking the whole together.
  2. The central principle or part of a policy, system, etc., on which all else depends.

While we were waiting, about 16 of the students from MacGregor showed up to support a couple of our medal bearers who were also students in town. It was very cold and windy out, so we invited them all on the bus to warm-up until the relay convoy arrived.

Our meeting point was in the curling club lounge in the arena.

How true.
It was a fun end of day celebration in the arena lobby, and there was free skating for the kids after the event.

Jordan talks to our end of day medal bearer, Emerald. Here is her story:

Hi my name is Emerald Kehler I am 18 years old and from the time I was born life was never fair, or easy! When my mother was in her second

trimester of pregnancy my umbilical cord wrapped around my arm and cut off my circulation.. This is referred to as membrane strangulation

amputation. Since I was born I wanted to do everything myself, I wanted to be seen as the regular child I was, me missing a body part had

nothing to do with what I was capable of. I grew up playing sport first soccer, then hockey, then eventually basketball and volleyball.. I took an

extreme liking to volleyball with being over 6'0 tall I had an advantage, and I was passionate about the sport, I had trouble learning how to

bump with an artificial arm, and set with just one hand but I made it work. I played volleyball for 3 years in high school and in September of

last year I was contacted by the manager of the Womens National Sitting Volleyball team, he asked if I would like to try it out (I was thrilled) I

got on a plane in October, tried it for the weekend and was named a new member by the end of the weekend.

In my community I am not seen as different, I am just another person.. I was in teens againsy drunk driving, I've hosted saftey displays for

young children, I've shared my story, I volunteered at the hub (youth for christ drop in centre) and girls club (where girls from grade 2-6 go

and play games and become closer to God),I went on a 16 day mission trip last summer to Costa Rica where we played with children, fixed up

schools, and I learnt how to surf one handed.. and I know my family, friends and community is proud of the young women I have become, I am

proud of how I have become. I am stronger because of my trials an tribulations life has given me, I KNOW I will be someone big someday and I

can't wait to make the relay team see they picked the right girl to represent Rick and the AMAZING things he has done... Disability is just a

word, erase the Dis and you have the word ability.. I am ABLE... Thank you Rick and staff for giving me this amazing opportunity!

A proud moment.

Heading back east 36 km to our hotel in Portage la Prairie for one last night. Sometimes it is easier to stay put for  a couple of nights than to keep changing hotels.

Follow that car.
Surprise, surprise, when I walked past the gym in the lobby, there was my roommate Jeremy getting buff!

Men with brooms! There was a curling rink in the hotel, and they offered us 4 sheets of ice for a couple of hours. Some of the guys really got into it. (names should be held to protect the innocent, but what the heck, left to right, Kenn, Ty, Jordan , Josh, Jeremy, and Jeremy

Now everyone is an expert. (actually it was a lot tougher to get the hang of then I thought, and more than one person landed on their butts!

I made a happy face because somehow I managed to get two of my rocks in the 8 foot circle! This was my first time trying curling, and it was kind of addicting, and sweeping was actually a lot of work.

Josh wins on style points!
Admiration and awe of their skills, or disbelief?

Must of been a great shot, Lisa!

The reward for a job well done! There was a pub above the curling rink in the hotel, and we all headed up to reward ourselvelves for our accomplishments and to celebrate our travel manager Steph's birthday. Cheers!

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