Who would you pick to light the Olympic flame?

The speculation is mounting over who the Olympics organizers will tap to lead one of the Games’ most spectacular displays


Contrary to popular belief, the ceremonial lighting of the Olympic flame at the Opening Ceremonies is, in fact, a decidedly modern affair. The culmination of the torch relay in a grandiose display at the Opening Ceremonies is a relic of the 1936 Berlin Games—just one of many attempts by the Nazi regime to lend a mythical air to the Games. Still, despite its dubious history, the lighting of the cauldron has evolved into one of the most spectacular and ostentatious displays at the Games. And the secretiveness that surrounds the lead-up to the ceremony only lends to the hype.

When it comes to the 2010 Games, the speculation about who will be selected to light the cauldron has coalesced around whether VANOC will go the traditional route and opt for a former Olympian or take the road less-travelled and pick someone from outside the sports world. Facebook groups have popped up promoting everyone from Terry Fox’s mother, Betty, to former Vancouver Canucks captain Trevor Linden. So far, Vancouver’s Olympic organizers have kept a tight lid on who the potential candidates might be. We’ve assembled a list of the names making the rounds, but feel free to add your own in the poll or in the comments below.

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Who would you pick to light the Olympic flame?

  1. Betty Fox has my vote, but Rich Hansen would be a close second. Hansen, and Betty through Terry's memory, epitomize the Olympic spirit and Canadian values, and also somewhat internationally known.

    • This poll is broken. Since this is the internet people are lazy and will choose the first answer and vote and not bother to read the rest of the options. If the poll answers were randomized this poll would reflect more accurately the actual results.

  2. David Suzuki, give me a break!

    • David Suzuki, the eco-fraud?

      Someone must have figured out a way of rigging the poll in his favour.

      • Please provide your links to evidence of Suzuki's fraud; I have been looking over the interwebz looking for it and have not found any yet.

        • Suzuki is one the biggest perpetrators of the lie of Glo-Bull Warming.

          I wonder how the CRA's investigation into the David Suzuki Foundations charitable status is going?

          Greenpeace had it's charitable status stripped while the Chretien Liberals were in power for being too political.

          • Short answer "No, I cannot provide a single iota of evidence to support the premise that David Suzuki is an eco-fraud"

            Thanks for playing.

          • High Priest Suzuki parrots the IPCC's every word as if it were gospel. But the IPCC is a reprehensibly false, corrupt, and demonstrably wrong organization, as the fallout from Emailgate, Amazongate, Glaciergate, WWFgate, magazinearticlegate (and I'm missing a few) have amply shown.

            Moreover, Suzuki pretends to be a scientist, but at the same time calls for the JAILING of anyone whose conclusions as to the nature of global warming, climate change, or whatever he wants to call it this week, differ from his own. In doing this "scientist" denies the very nature of science. That makes him a petulant child, a wild-eyed religious zealot, and, yes, a fraud.

          • If he honestly believes what he is saying, how can he be a fraud?

            Wouldn't that make him incorrect?

        • Nich please be more specific when you say "Please provide your links to evidence of Suzuki's fraud". In what way do you mean. Then I may be able to furnish you with evidence.

          • I mean, provide any link proving he is a fraud.

            It's a pretty strong accusation, and I (perhaps naive) believed there was going to be something to back it up.

          • You're an idiot Nick.

          • I hope you have learnt something about the difference between statements of facts and statements of opinion.

            An argument, such as accusing someone of being a fraud needs to be backed up by statements of facts. With no facts, and only statements of opinion, it is not a credible argument.

          • You're an idiot Nick and that's a fact.

          • “Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error”
            ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

            I concede defeat to your masterful skills of logic and reasoning, Bruce.

          • haha. All's he wanted was an internet link to see what WarrenZ was saying. So he's not an idiot. *Nice quote by the way

          • Your right he is an idiot

    • Really, absolutely, no doubt!

    • right on, he'll probably collapse before he reaches the podium

    • I agree 110 %.Mr smoke and mirrors has B.S. the Cdn.public long enough.He and Al Gore shud take a trip to Haitti,donate a few $Million each to help them and "just Maybe" they will regain a wee bit of respect from the people,who by the way are seeing through all their self serving,hand holding attempts to convince the world that we must "GO GREEN" NOW. Bull S

    • No kidding. He would be bitching about the flame spewing carbon dioxide into BC's pristine air

    • I'm with you sos! What the hell does he have to do with anything?

  3. Any random Canadian or BC taxpayer, as a tribute to the suckers who will be left with the bill.

    • buzz kill

    • That was my vote also, a no name Canadian … not a celebraty, a proud Canadian, not a famous Canadian only doing it, to get more celebraty.

  4. much to do about nothing

  5. Beckie Scott…she epitomizes the modern Olympic spirit to me. Beckie had been through a tough ordeal to become an Olympic Gold Medalist and represented Canada very honourably.

    • I'm with you. I think she's the one as she was not a torch runner when the flame went through Vermillion last month.

  6. I would project a hologram of Terry Fox himself to light the torch. It would be an incredibly moving moment

    • how would a hologram light a torch?

      • Same way they did in Beijing — by having it look like something hit it, and lighting it up from inside.

    • yes, because we REALLY need to have more money thrown at the olympics…

      • I don't care who lights it, I just think it should be done with actual money as a symbol for what the Olympics has finally become

  7. Ross Rebagliati with his Zippo

    • That's hilarious!

    • LOL!! :-)

  8. How did Nancy Greene-Raine (Conservative senator) make the above list and not Ross Rebagliati (Liberal candidate)…a sign Macleans will be in need of a bailout in the near future?

    • Ross who?

    • Greene still seems to be popular. Popular with people who haven't left their homes since 1968 when she one her gold metal…

    • Nacy Greene was an Olympian! duh!

      • I think Ross Rebagliati mayhave gone to the Olympics as well

  9. Betty Fox has my vote, but I predict Gary Lunn will do it (just kidding).

  10. How about Michael Ignatieff? Oh wait, he's an American. (His words, not mine)

    • Wayne Gretzky? He's been out of the country for 20 years.

      • What about Stephen Harper…as much as he wants to be an American…he can't

  11. How about a seal hunter?

    • This is the best answer by far of all the answers on this comment board. Who better to represent what Canada stands for in the world's eyes than a guy who slugs a baby animal to death.

    • A seal hunter lights it with a flaming baby seal. Talk about a statement!

  12. Or Don Cherry

  13. C'mon it's frickin obvious people!

    To have any kind of legitimacy the torch needs to be lit by Red Green with a (home made) souped up barbecue lighter.

    • Now that's funny!! You definitely think outside the box!!

    • He's not even Canadian! :P

  14. If blowing hot air is now an Olympic sport, I'm O.K. with Suziki.

  15. Suziki, is someone smoking something, the man is a menace. I like the idea of Red Green though but Betty Fox tops them all.

  16. Can't remmember who the columnist was who thought Wayne Gretzky was the obvious choice, but he's from near Toronto and lives in the US! We have lots of local people who are more deserving, and I agree: Betty Fox or Rick Hansen are the real obvious choices. While I lean toward Mrs. Fox, I'd really love to see Rick Hansen ascend to the place where the torch will be lit to demonstrate how his legacy has made it possible for disabled people to be treated like full citizens.

  17. I'm actually a bit teary-eyed having found out that Betty is the number one choice, thusfar. Living in a foreign country – the UK – and missing my home, it's always great to see that our incredible country is still full of decent, down to earth, folks.

    Way to go, Canada. I miss you guys.

  18. Mike Duffy…on the condition that he would accidentally set himself on fire.

  19. I'm sure if it was left up to Maclean's it would be a picture of Justin Trudeau lighting the flame.

  20. Can't believe 8% voted for that huckster Suzuki. Perhaps we could get Lizzie May and Al Bore as well. They would all stay in presidential suites in the ritzest hotels in town, be carted around like royalty in massive limos(just like Copenfraud) and the 8% rubes would gladly freeze in the dark so the above three mentioned can "save the planet"

  21. Betty Fox or Rick Hansen, both Terry and Rick accomplished so much with quiet dignity and self sacrifice and never expected any accolades in return. Most of the others did it for the money or the glory. Suzuki, ………. give me a break!

  22. Marc Emery. He's good at sparking up!

  23. Enough with the Betty Fox. She is not a great Canadian, she happened to be the mother of a good Canadian who was not an Olympian. An Olympian should light it. Nancy Greene is the only choice. Gold medal, BC'er and Olympic great.

    • i disagree that an Olympian should light the torch (not saying one shouldn't) but she is just the mother of terry Fox she isn't actually a great Canadian herself

  24. I think Betty Fox, I think it shows what canadians are about. I think to have david Suziki light it is a contridiction to what he stands for the amount of waste that the olympics will create and the carbon imprint of all the people coming to the games is against what he stands for I would lose respect if he was chosen and decided to do it

  25. I voted for Betty Fox but ideally it would be Bubbles handing off to Rick Hansen who then gives it to Betty Fox as Gord and the boys sing.

  26. I'd also be happy with any Canadian (prefereably BC) female athlete of note.

    • I agree, is it too much to ask for someone with a pretty face?

  27. John Napier Turner

  28. G. Campbell in the hopes that he would light himself on fire during the attempt.

  29. Scott Feschuk should light it. That would be a truly memorable moment.

  30. Don Cherry, seriously, he is a national icon. I would actually watch the olympics and give a shit about them if they had Don Cherry doing all the announcing.

  31. As much as I love David Suzuki (I really really do), I just can't connect him with the Olympics in my mind. Rick Hansen or Wayne Gretzky are more Olympic related.

  32. Pauline Marois

  33. How about Steve Fonyo? He's still alive.

    • He was just stripped of his Order of Canada for all his crimes – fraud, DUI's, etc.

      • It would be a nice consolation prize.

  34. Suzuki must be getting votes from people indoctrinated by him in childhood who imagine him to be a benign grandfatherly white haired chap, sort of like a Mr. Rogers interested in Nature.

    Have they not noticed his coming out as an ecofreak pushing the steadily crumbling scam of global warming?

    This is the guy who suggested to McGill students that critics of global warming should be jailed.

    Canadians don't deserve to be represented by a mean minded hypocrite (owner of two homes preaching to those who are lucky to have one) and charlatan pushing junk science onto unsuspecting children.

    Except for Olympian lies, what's Suzuki got to do with the Olympics?

    • No you are not. If you were boycotting the whole thing you wouldn't be reading about it and commenting on it.


  35. Ha, wouldn't it be like them to appoint a member of forces – support your troops and political tactic.

  36. Just give the Bic to King Harper. All hail the king! All hail our dictator!

    • People who pretend that conservative PM's are dictators for wielding exactly the same powers as Liberal PM's do to the sounds of silence or approval are hypocritical lefties.

      • Right on!!! People have no concept of what makes parliament work– or how much work it is– especially–when it's in session– more work is being done right now– when it's out– away from all the bickery . Any leader -is always referred 2 as a -dictator— cause someone has 2 be inpower– how else does one get things done !!!! Mars

    • You can't possibly be Canadian as you flunked the modesty test.

  37. Barbara Ann Scott – who won the gold in figure skating in 1948. Unlike Nancy Greene (a worthy athlete and now Conservative Senator) she wouldn't be seen as partisan.

    Most of the others listed have absolutely nothing to do with the Olympics. As for Gretzky, he only went when it wouldn't interfere with the NHL – just something to do in during the break.

    • I don't think Gretzky should do it, but I do want to point out that he was contractually bound to the NHL–they didn't prorogue for him, so he couldn't go.

      I dislike that part of Canadian culture that makes us beat up on one of our own who becomes wildly successful. I understand it, but I think we should grow out of it.

      • I'm not beating up on Gretzky and I'm disappointed you read it that way. His accomplishments as a hockey player are beyond incredible.

        However, as a player in the NHL, the Olympics were not a priority and not a career highlight. It was something to do ONLY when his day job permitted. Same thing with major league baseball players. As a result, the quality of comeptition of both of those sports had suffered in the Olympics.

        My attitude is that lighting the flame should go to an athlete for whom the Olympics was a career objective/highlight. How about Kerrin-Lee Gartner – the only Canadian (male or female) ever to win a downhill gold.

  38. I hope David Suzuki hacked into the Macleans network in an environmentally friendly way

  39. Who gives a shit who lights the stupid flame? Don't you think there's more important things in Canada than who lights a Goddamn flame? Why are Canadians such morons. You make all of us look like newfies. Get on with real life idiots!!!

  40. I hope that no one lights the flame. Maybe Canadians will then realize that it's just a flame. We are fighting for our freedom in other countries who want to kill us and all Canadians can think about is a flame. Get a life Canadians.

    • What if we light the flame with a great big gun and made torturing Afghan farmers an Olympic Sport?

  41. I agree. Who cares about an olympic flame. Nothing important. Omar Khadr should die for Treason and Murder and we want him back. What? Who gonna light the flame? Are you listening to yourselfs you selfish sons of …………..!

    • What if we light the flame with a great big gun and made torturing Afghan farmers an Olympic Sport?

  42. Rick Mercer

  43. I can't believe Betty Fox is anywhere near a list like this. What possible contribution has she made? She is NOT her son. Give me a break…and Suzuki?? Good grief!!!

  44. Morgentaler and Ignatieff

  45. Just goes to show that at their heart, Canadians are socialist sheep following David Suzuki.

    Does anyone realize that DS hates people, except libtards like himself?

    God save the Queen.

  46. I nominate Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant.

  47. Why is David Suzuki on this list?
    It should be a famous Canadian athlete.

  48. Surely David Suzuki would bow out even if chosen given that the huge energy consumption required by the Olympics would clearly go against his principles.
    p.s. I cannot understand why summer and winter Olympic facilities aren't constructed at an appropriate place in the world and used over and over. Each time a city takes on this project there are disastrous human issues, huge cost over-runs funded by taxpayers and monstrous white elephants all over the place. A permanent site could be efficient and revenues could be shared by participating countries. Oh and then we might eliminate a certain amount of corruption that exists within the Olympic Organizing committee.

    • That is an excellent idea,

  49. Why not recognize those who sacrificed the most to make all this possible. Let Canada's oldest surviving war veteran light the flame.

  50. Suzuki is one the biggest perpetrators of the lie of Glo-Bull Warming.

    I wonder how the CRA's investigation into the David Suzuki Foundations charitable status is going?

    Greenpeace had it's charitable status stripped while the Chretien Liberals were in power for being too political.

    • Hey Bruce! Care to tell me when the ice caps will start freezing again? And the Athabasca glacier stops retreating? And the snow line starts creeping back down Mount Kilimajaro?

  51. David Suzuki the Canadian ECOFREAK give me a break you want a winner not a LOSER

  52. Nancy-Green Raine was instrumental in the founding and building up of Whistler – and that is where the Olympics are being held

  53. Where was David the fruit fly expert, thirty years ago when the environment was not a media popular topic.No way he gets to light the torch

  54. How do people get and remain so loony? David Suzuki??? What does he have to do with the Olympics? Besides, the flame will be a source of added CO2 'pollution' and I am sure he would not accept being seen contributing to the problem.

  55. Since the Torch looks like a joint, we should bail Marc Emery out of jail & let him light it.

  56. I chose Rick Simpson. Someone who wants to see Canadians free to control their own destinies, who wants to see people healthy, and who wants to see nature resume it’s rightful position in society…that is exactly the type of person who represents the spirit of the games.

    Of course, since there’s not enough profits in nature for drug companies, governments, police, courts, lawyers, politicians, and prison systems, it’ll likely never happen.

    The Canadian government knows what’s best for us all…even if it kills us.

  57. No-one has been a greater advocate for the Winter Olympics than Beckie Scott, who has worked tirelessly for many years on cleaning up the Olympics. She was robbed of her gold medal moment by the dopers (subsequently disqualified) who finished ahead of her. This would be a great way for the world to give her the recognition she deserves.

  58. Larry, Curly & Moe look-a-likes, dropping the flame, and putting the place on fire…Lol….

  59. David Suzuki??? Give me a break!

  60. who will be a future Olympian. Surely there are children who have great talent and personal drive who should be given recognition

  61. Betty Fox is by far the best joice in the bunch!

  62. Anyone who is willing to stop a bullet, catch pieces of an IED, step on a mine, or risk their lives in general for the good of humanity or some dumbass politician deserves that Olympic Honour of lighting the flame. Go Canadian Forces Go!

    • Colonel Russell Williams it is then

      • Your sense of humour is normally displayed by animals that are stubborn DICK.

      • Hey Dick….bad joke right now you Jerk.

  63. Kerrin Lee- Gartner should light the flame. From B.C. an Olympic Champion

  64. David Suzuki! The question wasn't who would you pick to light IN flames.

  65. It's important that David Suzuki do it, and remind the world that not all Canadians are anti-environmental fossils. The majority of us care deeply about the environment, so choosing David Suzuki to represent Canadians would send an unmistakable message the world needs to hear, from a country that so many have admired and envied in the past. And not incidentally, David Suzuki is a distinguished British Columbian from an immigrant background, who made good in this country beyond virtually anyone's wildest dreams. What a symbol for a nation!

  66. I think Steve Fonyo should be the one to light the torch.
    He did a lot of good and was never thanked for his huge effort properly. nows the chance to do it, finally

  67. Suzuki is a moron. I see he has his mindless followers here.

  68. I can't understand the enormous stupidity I see demonstrated here. It looks like the majority don't read about – or try to understand some of the major issues we are faced with today. Gore and Suzuki are in the same camp .. perpetuating massive fraud for their own monitory benefit. Both have made millions. Neither have any climatology or weather background.
    Gore, a politician, discredited by recognized scientists, the British government and the US Senate, and Suzuki a geneticist who supports the same story and who has almost disappeared from the issue, neither would participate in a public debate with recognized scientists – and they should have anything to do with supporting our hardworking athletic endeavors? Give me a break!

  69. If Macleans formulated this list of choices, it is obvious that David Suzuki's name was included as a red herring. Anyone who voted for him would have to have done so with tongue-in-cheek. His certainly doesn't belong there.

  70. I agree.. Red Green should be the one!

  71. I"d like to see Michael J. Fox light the torch….a BC boy who made it good, and is currently fighting a terrible disease. His quest for a cure for Parkinsons shows so much courage!

  72. David Suzuki to light the flame? Wouldn't that be making more carbon? Oh …wait… I forgot, the rules are for everyone else to follow.

  73. We seem to share everything these days because we can, why?

  74. David Suzuki? You have to be kidding! He'd whine about contributing to global warming. Actually he'll probably need the cash — the global warming Ponzi scheme he's been pushing is finally starting to collapse. About time.

  75. Suzuki can only light it if he promises to walk from his cave so as not to create any green house gas and not wear any clothes unless he made them himself from local plant life!

  76. How about some poor old middle class guy that can not afford to go! Have you seen the $$$ for each event!!D

  77. do it automatically…..I can't think of anyone who gives us any (flaming) hope.

  78. Nancy because she is a great embassador for Canada.
    Maybe only BC natives would vote for her but all Canadians should.
    I was born and raised in BC but now live to Sask. Way to go Nancy!

  79. Let a child lead them – look to the future not the past. No one could be prouder than a parent to see their child hold the torch – I know how excited my son was to just touch one of the torches.

  80. Any member of the rock band Rush should light the torch. They are your greatest export.

  81. My vote would have been for Michael J. Fox until the silly boy decided to become an American citizen.

  82. Suzuki!!??? Get out of my country!!!! I'm disappointed in you Canada! Mrs. Fox all the way!

    Why is the pole higher for Suzuki but people are primarily wanting Mrs. Fox in the comments section?

  83. Bobby Orr – he changed the face of our number one winter sport – hockey!

  84. Personally I could care less about the Olympics. Its just a money making machine for some and a money losing event for any host city/country.

  85. Bobby Orr – he changed the face of our number one winter sport – hockey!

  86. Bobby Orr – he changed the way we played our number one winter sport – hockey!

  87. I cannot believe the votes for David Suzuki! What a joke. I voted for Jean Belliveau, a real gentleman, a real example of what a Canadian should be. (he also never posed naked with a figleaf)

    Le gros Bill (M. Beliveau for the uneducated) is recovering from a stroke, but he could designate a carrier. One of the most emotional moments in my community (Cornwall Ontario) was when Rik Saaltink, a well known athlete in our community, was the final carrier of the flame and lit the cauldron for his daughter Heather who had been killed by a drunk driver less than a year before.

  88. James Cameron!

  89. Ahhhh, suzuki the hypocrite! User of massive resources to fuel his huge house. Just another al gore windbag clone. Hey maceans, someone is messing with your poll and jacking up the numbers for hypocrite suzuki, get on it will you!

  90. Prob be a 12 year old girl just like the last two Canadian Olympics

  91. David Suzuki ? That foul mouthed joke?

  92. i think that Rick Hillier should light the olympic flame

    • or Colonel Russell Williams

  93. Suzuki? C'mon! The man has little to no connection to athletics! This poll must be a joke…

    I can see Betty Fox because she is a direct link to Terry Fox, who — more than anyone else I can think of — epitomizes absolutely everything real (and not necessarilty pretty) about athletic determination and commitment in the face of overwhelming (indeed, it was overwhelming, sadly) odds. It's about recognizing the effort of not only the individual in trying the unthinkable, but of the people — specifically mothers — who have always stood behind them. Betty Fox is the most perfect choice, though she is not the most obvious one (I'm looking at you, Wayne!). Kudos to everyone else who can see this as well…

    Rick Hansen is a close second as well. Red Green… now that makes more sense than Suzuki…. especially with the DIY torch idea… lol!

    But I still can't get over Suzuki — seriously? Did one person hit the button a hundred times? The man continues to make a difference in the world… but Olympics? Sheesh. Gord Downie's a stinker of a pick as well — love the guy, but a real stinker of a pick in this poll.

  94. I'd vote for Suzuki if he were actually IN the flame.

  95. Michael J. Fox

  96. If Fruit Guy guy lights the flame I'm trashing my TV.

  97. Well if it is David the fruit fly, the tv will be turned off pretty quickly.

  98. How about a category "ANYBODY BUT THE FRUIT FLY GUY"?

  99. Colonel Russell Williams

  100. david suzuki!?!?!?!?!

    I thought david was discredited when his global warming comrades-in-spewing-false-science were discredited and revealed as deceitful hoaxers misleading the public.

    Only in Canada, I guess

  101. A First Nations leader to light the Olympic Flag on Fire.

  102. I can't imagine a WORSE choice than David Suzuki. The man is an embarrassment for Canada, not someone we should consider an exemplar of what we value.

  103. David Suzuki? Why not Mr. Ignatieff? enough with politics! Gretzky is a classy sportsman well known all over the world.

  104. It should be lit by figure skater and 1948 Winter Olympic gold medalist Barbara Ann Scott !!
    … David Suzuki can come back later on to put it out and to bill us for the carbon credits.

  105. Tommy Chong! The Olympic Torch looks like a giant doobie!

  106. Alexandra Morton & Rafe Mair

  107. Now I want Suzuki to do it to drive you people crazy

  108. Cindy Klassen, Canada's greatest Olympian should light the flame

  109. No one symbolizes Canada more than Bob and Doug McKenzie! Way to go eh?!

  110. Round up all the Canadian bankers of Scottish origin; one of the founding peoples. Have them run up Sea to Sky highway in kilts and when they're not looking, move the road barrier so they all get directed to tumble off cliff like so many lemmings. Aye, laddie.

  111. I was thinking Ralph Klein, he could chug a pint of Jim Beam and then light his breath on fire with a BBQ lighter to spark that flame. In a pair of flip flop slippers, his boxers and a filthy under shirt. That would be entertaining! Seriously though, I would go with Nancy Green, or Beckie Scott, or Kate Pace-Lindsey or Gaetan Boucher

  112. Joe Sakic is native to British Columbia and was the outstanding hockey star at the 2002 Winter Olympics.Eugene

  113. Hope they finally honour a member from one of our Canadian Native Indian Tribes.

  114. Barbara Ann Scott….Canadian Champion, World Champion and Olympic Champion (gold medal). How many athletes have that record !!!!

  115. Red Robinson , Michael J Fox, Wayne Gretzky and Betty Fox ,Rick Hansen are all GREAT CHOICES.

    • I like Michael J Fox but doubt it, they organizers said that we will be surprised…

  116. I wouldn't let David Suzuki light my BBQ. Bob my drunken neighbor would be a better choice, although I love Oli's idea of a seal hunter. Good Lord, anybody but David Suzuki!

  117. a holographic terry fox will run in with mother betty

  118. Micheal J. FOX!

  119. Dudley Do Right would be fine. Much to do about nothing.

  120. elwood blues

  121. anyone from Manitoullin

  122. Probably the poorest version of the canadian national anthem EVER…Our anthem is not a pop song sing it properly

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