Villeneuve Carries Olympic Torch through Montreal

Jacques Villeneuve might have lost the chance to return to Formula One this weekend – at least with Lotus F1 Team – but the Canadian fulfilled his duties as a respectable Canadian figure and carried the “Olympic flame along a snow-filled street in Old Montreal before an exchange in front of a brightly-lit Notre-Dame Basilica, a Montreal landmark,” as reported by the Winnipeg Free Press.

Villeneuve won the 1997 Formula One championship after a thrilling battle with Ferrari-an Michael Schumacher and is regarded as one of the most successful Canadian drivers of modern times.

Car racing would be a little complicated at the Olympics. But anyone who can participate in an Olympics, it's incredible experience and the dream of all athletes,” joked Villeneuve, according to the aforementioned source, while admitting that carrying the torch is a “once in a lifetime experience.”

The event was not trouble-free however, as several protesters marched through a square, delaying the arrival of the flame. Their main protest was linked with the fact that the 2010 Winter Olympics will allegedly take place on stolen native lands.

The flame ended its four-day swing through the Montreal area and will continue heading west on Friday. The Olympic flame is passing through more than 1,000 communities on a 106-day journey before arriving in time for the Vancouver Games on Feb. 12,” added the aforementioned report.

As for Villeneuve's Formula One prospects, the Canadian was officially out of the Lotus F1's plans this morning, when the Malaysian outfit confirmed Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen as their official race drivers for the 2010 season.
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