Ladies and gentlemen, Michael J. Fox
Okay, hear me out folks. Many of you will say, what does an actor in many peoples' where are they now? folder have to do with Vancouver's Games?
Michael J. Fox of Burnaby, British Columbia is a homeboy who made good. Not an amazing athlete, not the greatest actor who walked the face of the Earth, but someone whom we should embrace. He's BC's Mary Pickford. Someone who left our shores to become, for a time, the biggest box office star the world knew. Then Michael succumbed to Parkinson's, and used his big heart to advocate for change.
There has been a lot of discussion about who should carry the flame into BC Place and light the cauldron. I've heard all the names – the mother of Terry Fox, Betty; or Wayne Gretzky, arguably our greatest athlete. While Betty might feel honoured that she can carry the flame for her son's incredible accomplishment, I don't think she feels that she could represent Terry. Gretzky is deserving, but he's an
Alberta Ontario boy.
These are BC's Games. Alberta, Quebec have hosted them before, but this is our time. Michael Fox might not seem like a hero to some, but to me he's always been the Burnaby boy who made good. He went to Burnaby Central High School. He wasn't probably an exceptional student, but he could hold the attention of a room through force of personality. He wasn't the big man on campus, he was just a little guy who made people laugh.
Now Michael has an illness that he is determined to fight, and he's made it his life's work. Does he represent well? You bet.
Not only that, he's famous. The Olympic Games are a big show. With NBC as the lead broadcaster there are magnificent dollars on the line to get good ratings. Michael J. Fox – with his exceptional Q Rating – has a compelling story that will tug at the heartstrings of people of all ages, around the world. Funny how having a TV show in permanent syndication, and a billion dollars worth of box office can do that.
I read this charming interview with Michael Fox on VancouverIsAwesome.com. Mike comes across just as the same Burnaby boy he always was. I used to hang with guys who knew him back in the day. While I'm sure there are many who won't agree, I think Michael should be the last guy to carry the torch. It just makes sense.