80 Pounds Gone, Now I'm Carrying the Olympic Torch


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  233 comments   :  21,166 Views

Alison Yakel (ALLEYCAT12380) has been a SparkPeople member for a little more than a year, and she's lost 80 pounds and counting.

For the past few months, the 29-year-old happily married store clerk from Manitoba, Canada, has been working out with one goal in mind: Carrying the Olympic torch.

Alison had signed up with a Coke promotional website and noticed a promo seeking torch bearers. With the Vancouver Games approaching, this proud Canadian filled out the form and waited.

Soon after, she got an email asking her to submit a short story on how she makes an impact on the world around her.

"I didn't really know what to say," she said. "I always consider myself not the world's greatest writer for these kinds of things. I eventually did it by the deadline, something about how I like to pick up beer cans and bottles for the money aspect, but it also helps Winnipeg clean, as well as I walk to the beer store, so no emissions from the car, as well as the walking helps me lose the extra weight I'm trying to lose."

She forgot about the contest, then heard back from contest officials in October. A few of the original torch bearers had backed out, so she was chosen as a replacement.

She knows she'll be running on January 5, somewhere between Kenora, Ontario, and Winnipeg, Manitoba, in Canada. She'll also get a uniform!

"I do have to get there myself, but I can bring friends and/or family," she said. "There will be people there, running with me, just in case something bad might happen, like if I can no longer run or I injure myself. Its winter, with snow and possible ice on the road, you never know with Manitoba weather."

As one of the 12,000 torch bearers carrying the Olympic torch across Canada, Alison will run between 300 and 400 meters.

Alison has just 20 pounds to go until she reaches her go, and she says losing weight gave her the confidence to go after a dream she didn't even know she had.

"I don't think I would have entered the contest with Coke to be a torch bearer if I was at my original weight," she said.

Her torch bearer uniform fits fairly well, she said, and it's hanging in her closet as a reminder of her goal. She's counting down the days until January 5.

Wish Alison luck as she braves the cold Canada winter to carry the torch and become a part of Olympic history! Are there any other SparkPeople torch bearers out there?

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