Olympic torch makes U.S. stop

Carried through the Peace Arch

By BOB MACKIN< QMI Agency

SURREY, B.C.- By the dawn's early light, a Vancouver 2010 torch inscribed With Glowing Hearts was carried across the 49th parallel and back north through the Peace Arch Tuesday morning.

Phil Mahre, a 1984 downhill skiing gold medallist, carried the Olympic flame on its only appearance in the U.S. The Vancouver-bound flame was lit Oct. 22 in Ancient Olympia, Greece and stopped in Iceland en route to Victoria where the cross-Canada relay began Oct. 30.

Mahre also carried the Olympic flame for Atlanta 1996 and Salt Lake 2002. Eight years ago, he was among the last torchbearers at the opening ceremony.

"This is a little different when you're running from one country to another," said Yakima, Washington's Mahre.

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire appeared at a ceremony by the landmark that represents unity between Canada and the U.S.

Gregoire called it "a beautiful place to celebrate the spirit of the Olympics.

The relay visits the North Shore Wednesday, Vancouver Thursday and ends Friday at the opening ceremony.

Earlier Gregoire pledged to wear a soul patch if Seattle short-track speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno wins another gold medal.

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