Path to the Olympics

White Rock native Adera Angelucci nears the finish line of the Olympic torch relay

For the last 103 days, Adera Angelucci has been on her feet.

Sometimes dancing, sometimes walking, and occasionally standing and banging a drum, but on her feet nonetheless.

Such an effort comes with the territory of being part of Coca-Cola’s Open Happiness team – a group of about 60 who have travelled coast to coast with the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, promoting the Games.

“We’re the party-starters,” said Angelucci, a White Rock native who graduated from Earl Marriott Secondary in 1999. “We have two trucks and during the relay we stay about five minutes ahead of the relay, and get people pumped up for when the torch comes.”

Angelucci has been with the torch for the entirety of the relay, which has lasted three months and is the longest in Olympic history. She applied for the position while living in Ireland – where she worked as a travel advisor – and said the temporary gig has been the most rewarding job she’s held.

“It’s been absolutely amazing. I can’t even really put it into words,” she said.

“Wherever we go, people are just so excited – kids’ faces just light up when we come through, banging our drums and waving to people.

“I’ve seen that flame now every day for more than 100 days, and every time I see it, it still pulls at my heart strings.”

It’s not always an easy job, however, she admitted.

Typically, Team Happiness members are on duty for about 15 hours each day. On Monday, for example – when the torch started in Mission and ended in Surrey by way of Langley and Aldergrove – Angelluci was up at 4 a.m., and didn’t get back to the hotel until after 8 p.m.

“It’s tiring sometimes, sure. We’ve travelled about 45,000 kilometres and I bet I’ve probably walked 25,000 of those – my shoes have taken a beating,” she laughed.

“But it’s the best job ever – a pretty amazing way to see the entire country.”

While some team members will continue to work during the Olympic Games – at Coca-Cola’s party headquarters at Vancouver’s David Lam Park – Angelluci said she’ll spend most of her time relaxing and watching the events.

“The minute the torch goes into B.C. Place (Friday), we’re done, and it won’t be about us anymore,” she said, adding that a private opening-ceremony viewing party has been organized for team members.

And what has the Peninsula resident learned from her three-month cross-country odyssey?

“That we’re a very happy country,” she said.

Just Posted

Public hearing set for two Surrey modular housing projects for homeless

Surrey council set to vote Monday on projects in Guildford, Whalley

Surrey RCMP, firefighters support Cloverdale boy’s lonely lemonade stand

Parker, 7, had few takers until Surrey first responders heard his call

Publication ban lifted on transgender complainant’s name in Surrey waxing dispute

Jessica Yaniv filed 13 discrimination claims against salons, one in Surrey, based on gender identity

Surrey teens create ‘Definitely A Musical’ in year-long project now ready for stage

‘They’ve taken that challenge and run with it, and created something really fun’

Fashion Fridays: 5 casual summer dress styles

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

HISTORY: Surrey hoedowns and ‘moonlight dances’ were the place to be

Dancing, revelry united community members of all ages

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

B.C. First Nation’s group using ads in Texas targeting company for fuel spill

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

Most Read

l -->