Olympic spirit on display
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Feb 10, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Olympic spirit on display

Stratford Gazette

Jeff Heuchert editor@stratfordgazette.com

There's no confusing which country doctor Tom Walden is rooting for at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

For the second time in four years, the local chiropractor and avid curler has erected a large, unmistakably Canadian symbol, made predominantly from ice, on the front lawn of his Ontario Street office, helping spread more than a little Olympic spirit throughout the city.

During the Vancouver Games in 2010 it was an inukshuk, this year it is a Canadian flag, crafted meticulously over weeks, thanks to consistently freezing temperatures, and completed last Thursday just in time for the Games' opening ceremony.

"I just think it is a great way to celebrate Canada," Walden said Monday about his one-of-a-kind creation. "And that's what the Olympics are about, cheering on our Canadian athletes."

As you might expect, the flag and Olympic rings have generated quite a bit of attention, whether it's drivers honking their horns or passerby stopping to take a picture. It was that same kind of positive feedback he received four years ago with the inukshuk that convinced Walden to come up with something bigger and better for this year's Games.

"It was a little cold building, but it was great fun," Walden said, "and the neat thing is thousands of people get to see it each day."

The flag was constructed from several block of ice and is supported by two wooden posts. Plastic was used in the middle to hold the approximately 200 kilograms of water and red fabric dye. Walden even had to put his math skills to the test, ensuring the entire flag, right down to each individual edge of the maple leaf, was recreated to scale.

"It was a little bit of a math challenge, but I pulled it off," he laughed.

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