Countdown to the Olympics With UCF Torchbearer

Countdown to the Olympics With UCF Torchbearer

Kaitlyn Chana ran in Calgary on Jan. 19, carrying the Olympic flame on its way to the Opening Ceremonies in Vancouver.

Kaitlyn Chana ran 300 meters to a screaming crowd in Calgary, Canada, last month carrying one of the world’s most famous symbols of unity and peace. The University of Central Florida freshman Olympic torchbearer called the experience “one of the most surreal moments of my life.”Chana can’t wait to watch the Winter Olympics 2010 Opening Ceremony tonight, knowing that she helped carry the flame across Canada to kick-start the Vancouver games.

“That was probably one of the best days of my life,” says the bubbly 18-year-old aspiring television anchor. “While I was running, I was so excited, and it went very quickly. But I can still remember the facial expressions and the laughter and excitement from the people.

“To me, it was five minutes of my life that I will never forget.”

Chana was selected last year for the Olympic honor because of her extraordinary charity work, which she began when she was an eighth-grader at Rock Lake Middle School in Longwood.

She founded the charity, Love Letters: Random Cards of Kindness Inc., while in high school, and she brought the project to the University of Central Florida last semester. Now an international nonprofit organization, Love Letters creates and delivers cards to children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.

Read more about her journey and watch a video on UCF Newsroom.