Blue skies and sunshine enticed Victorians out in force to watch Day 46 of the Olympic Torch Relay. The relay passed through magnificent countryside, vineyards and the Great Western Winery (renowned for its sparkling wines).

Colin Kelly, father of Olympic cyclist Shane Kelly, was one of the first runners in Ararat and ran past the front door of his home. Colin, 63, still helps train young cyclists in Ararat after a 50 year career in the sport.

Another highlight was the leg completed by 18 year old Stella Young. Stella, who was born with the genetic disorder ‘osteogenesis imperfecta’ (brittle bone disease), was cheered on by a large contingent of friends, relatives and others from the town.

Lunch celebrations took place in the picturesque and historical Central Park in Stawell, a former gold mining town located on the Western Highway. Over 60,00 prospectors attempted to find their fortunes here following the discovery of gold at Pleasant Creek in 1853.

During lunch a 2000-strong crowd were entertained by the Stawell Brass Band, Stawell West Choir, Grampians Calisthenics and Secondary College Stage Band.

Peter Gould got the torch back on the road, running through Stawell on Central Park Main Street from the Stawell lunch celebration. Peter is involved with his local community as president of the local football club and the community leisure centre.

The relay headed towards Horsham for the evening celebration at Sawyer Park, where John Martin, a kidney transplant recipient and tireless community worker, lit the community cauldron. Horsham is home to Mount Arapiles, one of Australia’s best rock climbing mountains as well as producing top quality grains and wool for export.

Source: SOCOG