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Industry Insight

Olympic Torch-Bearer: George Kallas, Metropolitan Fine Printers, Vancouver BC

The 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver started off with a bang on Friday evening, February 12. Last Thursday, February 11, George Kallas, President of Metropolitan Fine Printers, fulfilled a dream by carrying the Olympic torch as it traveled to Vancouver. From the beginning, printing and the 2010 Olympics have been closely linked!

By Gail Nickel-Kailing
Published: February 15, 2010

(Editor note: see the update and link at the bottom of this post.)

The 2010 Winter Olympic Games started off with a bang on Friday evening, February 12. From the beginning, printing and the 2010 Olympics have been closely linked!

In January 2003, George Kallas, President of Metropolitan Fine Printers and printer of the Vancouver 2010 Bid Book, hand carried copies of the three-volume set to Switzerland to begin the process to bring the 2010 Olympic Games home to his adopted city.

Last Thursday, February 11, George fulfilled a dream by carrying the Olympic torch as it traveled to Vancouver.

Here is the video of his section of the relay.

Here's what George had to say about his experience:

Growing up in Greece, it is hard not to be enchanted with the Olympic Games, the Olympic Flame, and all the history that goes with them.

I was born in Pireaus, Greece, and spent the first 10 years of my life in the small village of Pakia, Laconia, where the feats of the athletes and the amazing culture of ancient Olympia were things that young children dreamed about. They were also a huge source of pride for the Greek people.

When my family moved to Canada in 1962, this Olympic spirit came with me. To this day, it continues to inspire me - from how I work with others to my own commitment to excellence.

I have been involved with the 2010 Games since the earliest bid phase, when my company, Metropolitan Fine Printers, produced the first business cards for the organizing committee — and later, the award-winning bid books.

More recently, I had the honour in October of accompanying the Governor General of Canada to Greece, where I saw the Olympic Flame ignited in the ancient Olympic stadium and begin its journey to Canada. Being a torchbearer in Vancouver not only brings my Olympic experience full circle, but also is a dream come true.


Congratulations, George!

And congratulations to all the printers who made the 2010 Olympic Games vibrant, beautiful, and informative!

Update 2/17: George just forwarded a link to his "photobook" documenting the including his visit to Greece in October through the opening of the Games. Take a look at the book here!

 

Discussion

By Gordon Pritchard on Feb 16, 2010

Couldn't have happened to a nicer person. Bravo.
BTW, Metropolitan prints everything 10 micron FM, an Olympian challenge in itself.

 

By John deLoach on Feb 17, 2010

Congratulations, George! We enjoyed a very nice visit with you in the late nineties. No surprise to learn that you and your plant were immersed in the successful effort to bring to Vancouver what we all now are enjoying.

 

By Clint Bolte on Feb 17, 2010

Extraordinary example of giving back to the community in a most personal and professional manner. The entire Metropolitan Fine Printers company is no doubt proud of their professional involvement in making this 2010 Olympics in Vancouver a success.

 

By Gary Arsenault on Feb 18, 2010

Congratulations to George and all the staff at Metropolitan Fine Printers, what an achievement !! There is no one that deserves this more than George, he is a great guy with outstanding values and happens to own and run one of the highest quality printing companies in North America.
Well done !!

 

By Peggy Robinson on Feb 20, 2010

I was fortunate enough to receive the 'flame' from George on Feb. 11th in Burnaby. I can't thank him & the rest of the Olympic committee enough for bringing the Olympics to Vancouver. What a wonderful gentleman and what an honour to have been a small part of the epic journey of the flame as it made its way across Canada.

 

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