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Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Unveiled

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image Vancouver 2010 Torch (Photo: VANOC)

The Olympic Torch and Olympic Torchbearer uniforms for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, designed by Canadian companies Bombardier and the Hudson's Bay Company, were unveiled Thursday in Whistler, where the alpine skiing, sliding and Nordic events for the Vancouver 2010 Games will be held.

The almost one-metre-long torch, inspired by both the lines carved into the snow by skiers slushing down mountains and the "undulating beauty of the snowy Canadian landscape", as described by Vancouver 2010, was designed by Bombardier's aerospace and transportation design teams in collaboration with the Vancouver 2010 Organizing Committee.

Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who was among those revealing the design said, "it cradles the Olympic Flame and its message of hope, the celebration of excellence, friendship and respect wherever it travels in the world. The Vancouver 2010 Torch design is like Canada - young, exciting, innovative and welcoming to everyone who sees and holds it".

According to a Vancouver 2010 press release the torch will be operational from 50 degrees C to plus 40 degrees C, through rain, sleet, snow and wind. The torch's large size (more than 94 centimetres long), represents the vastness of Canada and the limitless potential of its land and people.

When the torch is lit the 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 Canadian 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, said the press release.

The winter white torch features an engraving of the Games motto With Glowing Hearts, and weighs about 1.6 kilograms. It contains stainless steel, and aluminium and sheet moulding compound.

It will burn for at least 12 minutes using a blend of fuels such as propane and isobutene. Ninety-five per cent of the torch is composed of materials and technology made or designed in Canada and 12,000 torches will be manufactured, one for every torchbearer taking part in the relay.

The 106-day torch relay is the longest domestic torch relay in Olympic history, starting October 30 in Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, and ending on February 12, 2010 when the Olympic Cauldron is lit at BC Place in downtown Vancouver.

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