Local torch-bearer running on excitement

Surrey physiotherapist Tyler Dumont will be carrying the Olympic torch on Feb. 10

As a former Canadian cross-country mountain biking champion and a recreational runner, Tyler Dumont can cover 300 metres on foot without breaking a sweat.

That distance is barely a warm-up for his frequent five-kilometre runs.

But the Surrey physiotherapist will pay attention to every detail of a certain 300-metre run next Feb. 10, two days before the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Games, as he carries the Olympic torch with the world watching.

“I thought it’d be longer, but I’m sure it’ll be an awesome 300 metres,” he said in his Panorama Ridge physiotherapy clinic. “It’s gonna be crazy. That close to the Games – two days before – the fever will be pretty high at that point.”

A clinical associate professor for 11 years at UBC’s Department of Physical Therapy, Dumont was nominated by staff – without his knowledge – to represent the department in the Olympic Torch Run.

They were given one spot after they loaned VANOC a variety of physical therapy equipment for the Olympic Games to assist Canadian athletes.

Dumont was notified by e-mail in late October that he’ll run the 300 metres in North Vancouver. He won’t be given more specifics until the date nears.

During the games, Dumont, 41 and a father of two boys, will also volunteer with the back-up physiotherapy group for Team Canada’s hockey team, and will get to sit rinkside during the games at GM Place.

His role on the hockey team’s support staff was chosen by “higher powers,” he says.

“It’ll be fun watching hockey, to see all those guys. The energy’s going to be crazy.”

For the general public, online lottery sign-ups for the torch run ended over the summer.

The Olympic Torch Relay, which started Oct. 30, will last 106 days and will cover 45,000 kilometres across Canada, reaching more than 1,000 communities before the lighting of the Olympic cauldron on Feb. 12, 2010 in Vancouver.

The torch is expected to pass through Surrey on Feb. 8.

Dumont’s excitement won’t stop with his Olympic involvement.

“My wife’s due with a baby at the end of February,” he said.

bjoseph@surreyleader.com