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Vancouver 2010 Torch Relay


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and so it begins....the long road to Vancouver 2010.

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Olympic flame officially lit in Greece

OLYMPIA, Greece - The Olympic gods were not smiling down on Olympia on Thursday - at least not initially at the Ancient Stadium where the Olympic Flame was to be lit for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.

Overcast skies greeted the throng of dignitaries and actresses called upon to play the role of ancient Greek priestesses who pray to the God Apollo to light the flame. This should not be taken as a bad sign as poor weather disrupted the flame lighting ceremony for each of the past three Winter Games in 2006, 2002 and 1998.

But as the national anthem of Canada was played prior to the start of the festivities, the clouds parted, allowing the sun to shine through and the historic ceremony to proceed as planned.

The hour long ceremony, heavy on symbolism, heard from members of the Greek Olympic Committee, International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge and John Furlong, the head of the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee.

Following some welcoming speeches and the presentation of a commemorative pot to Mr. Furlong, a select number of dignitaries and invited guests were asked to enter the ancient stadium to witness the lightning of the flame using a parabolic mirror and the rays of the sun.

With the noon day sun beating down, the nervous tension in the stadium gave way to smiles and applause as the as the spark of a flame could be seen. On this day, there would be no need for the backup flame which was lit during Wednesday's rehearsal.

Following a procession through the ancient grounds, the flame was then officially transferred to the Olympic torch.

Greek skier Vassilis Dimitriadis became the first to carry the Olympic torch, kicking off a seven-day journey through Greece before the flame is to be handed over to Vancouver Olympic officials on October 29th for the trip to Canada.

"It still feels like the first time," he said. "The overwhelming feelings are so intense that force me to feel unique. It is a great honour to know that an endless line of people who will carry the Olympic Flame until the city of Vancouver starts with me."

Upon arriving in Victoria on October 30th, the torch will begin the longest domestic relay in Olympic history, concluding in Vancouver on Feb. 12, 2010 to start the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

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ROUTE

The sacred Olympic Flame is lit in an ancient ritual in Olympia, Greece, site of the first Olympic Games. After a short run through Greece, the Olympic Flame arrives in Athens, where it is handed over to a representative from the Host Country.

From there, the Olympic Flame will make a trans-Atlantic flight and arrive in Canada, signaling the start of the longest Olympic Torch Relay to take place in a single country.

The Olympic Flame will travel more than 45,000 kilometres across Canada — some by land, air and water; and some by other means. During its journey towards Vancouver, the Olympic Flame will pass by some of the most pristine and stunning landscapes in the world. And at each turn and twist in the path to the Olympic Games, excited Canadians and visitors will gather to share in the experience. It is here, at the heart of Canadian communities, that our nation will celebrate the 2010 Olympic Winter Games with glowing hearts.

The national relay route will link together over 1,000 communities and places of interest. In order to share the experience with as many Canadians as possible, and to include as many communities as possible, the Olympic Flame will be carried by torchbearers in the more populous centres and transported between communities.

Participate in the lead-up to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games by joining in a community celebration or watching the Olympic Flame as it passes through an area near you. The list of communities may be updated and adjusted as route planning continues. Route details will be released closer to the flame’s arrival in a particular community.

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And here's the official video:

Liiiights will guiiiiiiide you home. And igniiiiiie your bones. And I will tryyyyyyyy to fix you!

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Here's how the Greek route of the Vancouver 2010 torch run looks like. Click here for it.

Yesterday, it went to the following locales: Pyrgos, Ancient Ilida, Tripotama, and Kalavryta.

Today, it went to the following locales: Kalavryta, Patras, Mesollogi (Statue of Kostis Palamas), Mesollogi, Agrinio, and Karpenisi.

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The crest over the heart (left side) is the Relay logo. Don't see one on the right side. If it does look like a Greek flag, it could just be that or it could be the logo of the Hellenic Olympic Committee?

Edit:

I watched the video. It is the crest of the HOC. I don't like your provinces crest idea. Leave the uniform as is to give it a clean look.

And that poor sooty torch. :(

Edited by Kendegra
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The white does get sooty doesn't it - they need to fix that if possible I would have thought? Or do they like the "used" look?

Wierd being followed by VW cars - aren't the games being sponsored by GM?!

And yes that is the Hellenic Olympic Commitee crest on some (not all I noticed) of the uniforms)

I see they aren't using the same cauldrons as they will in Vancouver - must be the ones they usually use?

Flame looks good at night!

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When I first saw the torch design, I hoped that its the curvature would make the odd placement of the flame seem like a mere extension of the torch as the torchbearer ran. But no, it just looks like the torch is on fire. The sooty bits don't help at all.

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