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Vive la flamme!

Francophone children proudly celebrate the Olympic Torch Relay

Students of Les Aiglons School in Squamish were the ambassadors of French vitality during the Feb. 5 Olympic Torch Relay.

It was a big event for Les Aiglons primary school students at Garibaldi Highlands. Added to the excitement of witnessing two torchbearers exchanging the flame right in front of their eyes on The Boulevard was the sense of honour that filled them as they would act as ambassadors of French culture for their community.

Prior to the Torch relay day, 61 francophone students developed an awareness of the importance of their French heritage in the Olympic Games. Firstly, they learned that besides French being one of the two official languages of Canada and an influential language spoken worldwide, that we have the French to thank for the modern Olympic Games.

Indeed, after the original Greek games had dissolved for over 1,000 years, a teacher from France named Baron Pierre de Coubertin had the idea to re-ignite this exciting worldwide event. The first Winter Olympic Games were held in Chamonix, France, in 1924.

Squamish's Les Aiglons students proudly took a part in promoting the francophone language and culture by displaying Olympic French language signs and red headbands with French words such as "Bonjour!" that encouraged the torchbearers and greeted the crowd and the whole Olympic fleet going by.

Les Aiglons school banner and the Franco-colombien flag were held high with pride.

Brennan Park will be exhibiting these signs, along with other Olympic related artwork from Les Aiglons francophone students on the auditorium walls, for the duration of the Games.

L'École Les Aiglons acknowledged Patrimoine Canadien's sponsorship and the Olympic Torch Relay organizers for the opportunity to have francophones students from the Sea to Sky Corridor take an active part in the celebration of the Torch Relay and to promote and share their francophone culture and linguistic vitality.