Grad student to be Olympic torchbearer
A year ago, Siavash Khallaghi was new to Canada. This fall, he’ll carry the Olympic torch on part of its journey across Canada as it makes its way from Athens to Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Games.
Khallaghi completed his undergrad degree in Tehran, but as a new graduate student in Electrical and Computer Engineering studying medical image processing, he needed a few simple things, including a bank account. While he was signing up at RBC, he also filled out an entry for a carry-the-torch contest. A few days ago, he found out by email that he won.
“It’s pure luck,” he says, but regardless he takes the honour seriously. “It’s a chance to be part of something bigger. I think of myself as an athlete, but this is a step up.” Khalleghi is a snowboarder who says the slopes in Iran have one advantage over Canadians slopes. “There are no trees, so you can roam anywhere you want.”
Khallaghi says his only worry about the challenge is the cold weather he’ll be faced with, since his leg of the relay will take place in late November. “I’ve never seen anyone carry the torch in a pullover. I’m a bit worried about wearing a T-shirt in November.”