A BC Transit driver in Victoria has created a unique, bus-sized message for his girlfriend in order to wish her luck at the Tokyo Olympics.
Stephen Bains pulled out all the stops at the Langford Transit Centre, lining up five transit buses side-by-side — including three double-deckers — in order to deliver a message to his girlfriend, Celina Toth.
With the help of BC Transit, the three double-decker buses read “FLY HIGH CELINA,” while two single buses book-ended the message, displaying #TOKYO 2020NE.
Toth, having moved to Vancouver Island in 2010 to train with Boardworks Victoria head coach Tommy McLeod, will be competing in the women’s 10-metre diving event on Aug. 4 and 5 in Japan.
“I’m so excited for Celina because she has worked so hard to get to this moment,” said Stephen Bains. “I can’t be there with her and I wanted to show my pride in a unique way, so I came up with an idea to use buses to send her a special message.”
The global pandemic is prohibiting anyone besides athletes and Olympic personnel from attending the Tokyo Games, so Bains says he will be “proudly and nervously” following the competition from here on Vancouver Island.
Toth has had a whirlwind few weeks, starting at last month’s Canadian trials in Toronto — something that Toth describes as, “probably the most stressful week of my life.”
The Canadian diver ended up securing a roster spot after one opened up due to an injury, resulting in Toth having to return home to Victoria, pack her bags and drive to the airport with her dad in order to head to Tokyo.
READ MORE: CHEK Upside: Third time’s a charm for Victoria diver set to make Olympic Games debut
With the condensed timeline, Bains’ bus message was not experienced in person, however, photos were sent to Celina on her journey and the Vancouver Island driver says she was blown away.
“She was actually quite shocked that we could even do that, and was kind of just marvelling that her name was on the front of a bus. I jokingly quipped that we’d be driving around Victoria with her name on the display.”
Bains adds that the motivational message might actually find its way onto the walls in Toth’s Olympic dorm as well.
“Celina’s dorm room in the Olympic village is basically unfinished drywall, and she’s looking to add a little colour to the walls,” said Stephen Bains. “They have a print shop on site, so she’s going to see if she can get a big poster made of one of the photos I sent, which would be great.”
To learn more about Toth’s journey, you can see her featured on CHEK’s The Upside by clicking here.