The Olympic Torch and Olympic Torchbearer uniforms for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, designed by iconic Canadian companies Bombardier and the Hudson’s Bay Company respectively, were introduced on Thursday to Canada and the world in the mountain resort of Whistler, home to alpine skiing, sliding and Nordic events for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games that begin one year from today.
The almost one-metre-long torch, inspired by both the lines carved into the snow by skiers schushing down mountains and the undulating beauty of the snowy Canadian landscape, was designed by Bombardier's aerospace and transportation design teams in collaboration with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).
The torch’s large size (over 94 centimetres long) represents the vastness of the second largest country in the world and the limitless potential of its land and people. When lit, the brilliant orange glow of the Olympic Flame will unfurl like a flag fluttering in the wind from the torch’s unique 30-centimetre-long vertical flame outlet — unlike the more traditional cauldron-like shape encompassing a horizontal flame — and symbolically wrap around the country, bringing Canadians closer together. A red maple leaf air intake cut-out will feed the flame with enough oxygen to ensure it burns brightly for all to see and a dual burner system will ensure it never falters. Additionally, the winter white torch features an engraving of the Games motto With Glowing Hearts/Des plus brillants exploits into its design.
The torch (with fuel) weighs about 1.6 kilograms and contains stainless steel, aluminum and sheet-moulding compound. It will burn for at least 12 minutes using a blend of fuels such as propane and isobutane. Ninety-five per cent of the Olympic Torch is composed of materials and technology made or designed in Canada. Twelve-thousand torches will be manufactured — one for every torchbearer taking part in the relay.
Key to the torch’s curved, modern design is a robust technology created to weather the rugged and varied 45,000-kilometre journey of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay during the Canadian winter. From the mild climate of Vancouver Island to the bone-chilling Arctic cold of Canadian Forces Station Alert located less than 900 kilometres from the North Pole, the torch will be operational from -50°C to +40°C through rain, sleet, snow and wind.
The coast to coast to coast event (route) — will last 106 days, the longest domestic torch relay in Olympic history — starts October 30 in Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia. It will end on February 12, 2010 when the Olympic Cauldron is lit in front of a live crowd of 60,000 at BC Place in downtown Vancouver and while billions more watch on television during the Opening Ceremony for the XXI Olympic Winter Games.
Canadians interested in becoming one of the lucky 12,000 torchbearers will have several opportunities to apply at rbc.com/carrythetorch and icoke.ca.