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2010 Torch Relay News


SkiFreak
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Well, an update about the potential of how Vancouver 2010's Olympic torch relay could end up starting domestically. I do not know, if the idea is final, but the international Arctic dispute has reached another flash point, compliments of the British.

No, the British is not trying to claim it whatsoever. It is just that it would be most likely be an international borderline, between (guess what?) RUSSIA and DENMARK! (gasp) And, according to the map provided by .pdf (Adobe and other such reader applications), it is leaning toward being DANISH TERRITORY! So, Canada could be out of luck in claiming the absolute North Pole area entirely, if this is proved valid by the international community.

Link 1: BBC -> The Green Room: Arctic Map Shows Dispute Hotspots

Link 2: Potential Arctic Ocean Boundaries (In .PDF)

That little stunt last year by the Russians that riled the Harper government, it seems that the Russians may be right to a certain degree.

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"Updated map" of Potential Arctic Ocean Political Jurisdictions and Boundaries

Could this turn of events force VANOC to change the beginning aspects of how the Vancouver 2010 torch relay will start?

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I'm enraged.....wtf is this?

This is a terrible idea. Even though I support the war in Afghanistan, Ottawa's suggestion will politicize these Games.....to have the first torch bearers of the 100+ day torch relay be Afghan soldier veterans is a huge political statement. Ugh, i hate all this interference by Ottawa.

And what's up with needing an English and French person light the final leg of the torch relay???? I could care less about who you are, it should be what you do and that this should be about athletics.

First the opening/closing ceremonies, now it's the torch relay. This government has an agenda.

GET THIS GOVERNMENT OUT OF OFFICE! :angry:

Ottawa wants Vancouver organizers to include Afghan veterans in torch relay

PATRICK BRETHOUR

August 26, 2008

VANCOUVER -- Ottawa is urging the Vancouver Winter Olympics organizing committee to put the Afghanistan war at the heart of the symbolically laden torch relay, saying that the first torch carriers could be veterans of the seven-year-old conflict.

The federal government is also pushing to have Canada's French and English "linguistic duality" highlighted by the relay, going so far as to propose a list of 83 communities that could be part of the run -- and provide a chunk of the roster of torch bearers, expected to number 12,000.

Both those proposals are put forward in an undated memo from the official languages group of the 2010 Federal Secretariat obtained by Ottawa researcher Ken Rubin under an access-to-information request. The proposals on the torch relay follow revelations last week in The Globe and Mail that the Harper government provided $20-million for the opening ceremony of the Winter Games to ensure the event "adequately reflects" its priorities and "to achieve its domestic and international branding goals."

The Harper government and the Vancouver organizing committee have each insisted that Ottawa will be only a source of ideas for the opening ceremony, not a decision maker, despite its funding (including a separate $25-million grant for the relay).

Yesterday, VANOC confirmed that Ottawa had floated such proposals, but said the government's voice was one among many, and that no decision has been made on the design of the relay, including the route and who will be the first and final torch bearers. "All of the ideas are being gathered right now," said Renée Smith-Valade, vice-president of communications for VANOC.

Deirdra McCracken, director of communications for 2010 Olympics secretary of state James Moore, said the documents were prepared for planning purposes, and that discussions concerning the torch relay were taking place in partnership with VANOC.

The memo from the 2010 Federal Secretariat also urges the Vancouver Olympics organizers to have two torch bearers -- one French, one English -- for the final leg of the relay, underscoring Canada's "diversity and linguistic duality" and replicating the approach of the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.

In other respects, however, the vision of the torch relay outlined in the memo is in sharp contrast to the approach of the previous two Olympics on Canadian soil: the Summer Games in Montreal and the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary.

In both, the choice of the first torch carrier, considered a particularly symbolic part of the relay, was decidedly non-controversial.

For Montreal, there were runners representing each of the provinces and (at that point) two territories. Calgary opted for two Olympic athletes, famed 1948 gold medalist figure skater Barbara Ann Scott-King, and Ferd Hayward, the first Newfoundlander to wear Canadian colours at a Games -- the latter a nod to the start of the relay in St. John's.

The 2010 relay also could start in St. John's, but the symbolism of a veteran from the Afghan war would be a more politically tinged symbol, with a substantial part of Canadian public opinion opposing participation in the conflict. Ms. Smith-Valade, while saying no decisions have been made, said the Vancouver organizing committee does not see the relay as a platform for political messages. "We have an opportunity to bring the country together."

Frank King, chairman and chief executive officer of the 1988 Games, said the Calgary committee's decisions on who became a torch bearer was based on highlighting Olympic athletes for the start and end; in between, a lottery generally determined who took part. He rejected the premise that Calgary should have based its decision on demographics.

"You're going off in a direction the Olympics don't go," he said. Stressing that he was commenting on only Calgary's experience, Mr. King said his organizing committee simply focused on highlighting Olympic excellence for the opening and closing legs of the relay. "We chose athletes; it didn't matter what language they spoke, what religion they were, what colour they were."

By contrast, VANOC is designing its relay as a "powerful and inclusive celebration" for the country; there will not be a random lottery. Instead, VANOC says it will select each torch bearer based on their articulation of Olympic ideals, and with the goal of representing the 21st-century nation through those thousands of faces.

"Canada has come a long way since 1976," said Ms. Smith-Valade. "It's come a long way since 1988."

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I'm enraged.....wtf is this?

This is a terrible idea. Even though I support the war in Afghanistan, Ottawa's suggestion will politicize these Games.....to have the first torch bearers of the 100+ day torch relay be Afghan soldier veterans is a huge political statement. Ugh, i hate all this interference by Ottawa.

And what's up with needing an English and French person light the final leg of the torch relay???? I could care less about who you are, it should be what you do and that this should be about athletics.

First the opening/closing ceremonies, now it's the torch relay. This government has an agenda.

GET THIS GOVERNMENT OUT OF OFFICE! :angry:

This is Harper politics for you. I wouldn't be too concerned about any of this. The Ceremony I think is a legit concern of theirs, given what happened in the handover, and they merely want to ensure that official languages and first nations culture is adequately represented, which is redundant because VANOC bends over backwords to make sure both are included.

The relay bit is pretty lame though. The Olympic Games are about peace almost above all else. Involving the military seems antithetical to those ideals. Now, I'm not saying "yay Taliban" by any means, but bringing in a group fresh from combat to help promote an event during which the nations of the world are asked to lay down their arms doesn't jive.

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Well, these are government suggestions, not orders. Vanoc doesn't have to take them. Selecting veterans (or even family members of those killed) to carry the torch along the path is OK by me, but in my mind, the first Canadians to actually carry the flame on Canadian soil should be athletes and residents of that particular province or territory. In 1988, legendary Olympic champion Barbara Ann Scott and former Newfoundland Olympian Ferd Hayward picked up the torch when it arrived in St. John's. That is a more fitting message of unifying Canadians, sport, and the Olympics than sending in the military to greet the flame. I think the relay also needs to get started off with a big name to attract attention. From there, it should to to Canadians of all walks of life.

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Well, these are government suggestions, not orders. Vanoc doesn't have to take them. Selecting veterans (or even family members of those killed) to carry the torch along the path is OK by me, but in my mind, the first Canadians to actually carry the flame on Canadian soil should be athletes and residents of that particular province or territory. In 1988, legendary Olympic champion Barbara Ann Scott and former Newfoundland Olympian Ferd Hayward picked up the torch when it arrived in St. John's. That is a more fitting message of unifying Canadians, sport, and the Olympics than sending in the military to greet the flame. I think the relay also needs to get started off with a big name to attract attention. From there, it should to to Canadians of all walks of life.

Yea, i really agree with that....I don't mind having veterans being torchbearers along the route, but having the first torchbearers being veterans is a terrible statement and a political one too. It's quite obvious that the Tories want to push their Afghan agenda.

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Well, these are government suggestions, not orders. Vanoc doesn't have to take them. Selecting veterans (or even family members of those killed) to carry the torch along the path is OK by me, but in my mind, the first Canadians to actually carry the flame on Canadian soil should be athletes and residents of that particular province or territory. In 1988, legendary Olympic champion Barbara Ann Scott and former Newfoundland Olympian Ferd Hayward picked up the torch when it arrived in St. John's. That is a more fitting message of unifying Canadians, sport, and the Olympics than sending in the military to greet the flame. I think the relay also needs to get started off with a big name to attract attention. From there, it should to to Canadians of all walks of life.

I liked that decision from OCO'88 then. I would not be surprised, when it comes to Newfoundland here, that Brad Gushue of the men's curling team from Torino 2006 will start that portion of the relay. He's still the biggest star there.

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Yes, I'm sure he'll be part of the relay through NL.

But there is always the question of the stadium runners. The norm in the past few years has been established that a bevy fo past Olympic champions/medallists from the Host Nation parade the flame around the stadium to thunderous cheers. Atlanta, Nagano, Sydney, Salt Lake, Athens, Torino, Beijing...it has been an unbroken string with the exception of the British land mine victim in Nagano. So that leaves the question for Vancouver. Will it continue what I believe is a really great tradition?

There is a long list of gold and multiple medallists to chose from (especially in the post-Calgary years)...Catriona LeMay Doan, Marc Gagnon, Cindy Klassen, Clara Hughes, Sale/Pelletier, the Gushue team, Beckie Scott, Lueders/MacEachern, Elvis Stojko, Chandra Crawford, Kerrin Lee-Gartner, Jean-Luc Brassard, Jennifer Heil, the men's and women's hockey teams, Duff Gibson, the Schmirler team, and others.

And then you have the old schoolers like Barbara Ann Scott, Nancy Greene, Anne Heggtveit, Vic Emery, Wagner/Paul, Kathy Krenier, Gaetan Boucher, and Brian Orser.

There are the two names that I don't think will be there do to personal controversies...Ross Rebagliati and Myriam Bedard.

Or what about Jean-Marc Rozon, Sylvie Daigle, or Linda Moore. Who? Why? Well, this group are the only Canadian athletes (although Linda was part of a curling team) to win gold medals at Olympic Games held in Canada...too bad they were part Calgary's demonstration sports roster. Sylvie eventually won gold in an official Albertville short-track relay.

Anyway, I hope they pick 4 or 5 good choices from this list for torch stations in the stadium.

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Doesn't representing the unique linguistic culture give hardcore separatism even more grounds in their goals?

If Vancouver is forced to have an anglophone and frenchie to the honours, they should be forced to have a cantonese and punjabi speaker in the mix too. :P

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Yes, I'm sure he'll be part of the relay through NL.

But there is always the question of the stadium runners. The norm in the past few years has been established that a bevy fo past Olympic champions/medallists from the Host Nation parade the flame around the stadium to thunderous cheers. Atlanta, Nagano, Sydney, Salt Lake, Athens, Torino, Beijing...it has been an unbroken string with the exception of the British land mine victim in Nagano. So that leaves the question for Vancouver. Will it continue what I believe is a really great tradition?

There is a long list of gold and multiple medallists to chose from (especially in the post-Calgary years)...Catriona LeMay Doan, Marc Gagnon, Cindy Klassen, Clara Hughes, Sale/Pelletier, the Gushue team, Beckie Scott, Lueders/MacEachern, Elvis Stojko, Chandra Crawford, Kerrin Lee-Gartner, Jean-Luc Brassard, Jennifer Heil, the men's and women's hockey teams, Duff Gibson, the Schmirler team, and others.

And then you have the old schoolers like Barbara Ann Scott, Nancy Greene, Anne Heggtveit, Vic Emery, Wagner/Paul, Kathy Krenier, Gaetan Boucher, and Brian Orser.

There are the two names that I don't think will be there do to personal controversies...Ross Rebagliati and Myriam Bedard.

Or what about Jean-Marc Rozon, Sylvie Daigle, or Linda Moore. Who? Why? Well, this group are the only Canadian athletes (although Linda was part of a curling team) to win gold medals at Olympic Games held in Canada...too bad they were part Calgary's demonstration sports roster. Sylvie eventually won gold in an official Albertville short-track relay.

Anyway, I hope they pick 4 or 5 good choices from this list for torch stations in the stadium.

I think they ALL will get their chance, in one form or another, to run with the Vancouver 2010 torch in whatever province or territory they have mostly reside. For the brainstorming session about the possible stadium runners, I would guess that they would be mostly BC-based Olympic athletes, current and former. To that end, I would not be surprised, if Kerrin Lee-Gartner and Nancy Greene are candidates to be in that final run.

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Don't forget Eddie the Eagle!! He became a legend in Calgary!!

He already got that chance last February, on the 20th anniversary of the Calgary Games.

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Doesn't representing the unique linguistic culture give hardcore separatism even more grounds in their goals?

If Vancouver is forced to have an anglophone and frenchie to the honours, they should be forced to have a cantonese and punjabi speaker in the mix too. :P

You know, that will be an interesting proposition, considering that Furlong and VANOC wants the Vancouver 2010 Games to be the "Canada Games" in the first place.

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2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Torch Relay route announced

Gary Kingston, Vancouver Sun

Published: Thursday, November 20, 2008

The torch relay for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games was always going to end in British Columbia, inside B.C. Place Stadium.

But the iconic flame's 106-day cross-country journey will also begin in the province before criss-crossing the nation on its way through every province and territory.

The 2010 Olympic organizing committee (Vanoc) announced today at a splashy ceremony in West Vancouver that the torch relay will start in Victoria on Oct. 30, 2009.

After four days on Vancouver Island, it will be taken to the Queen Charlotte Islands and Atlin in northern B.C. before heading into the Yukon and Northwest Territories. In early November, it will land in North America's easternmost tip, historic Cape Spear in St. John's, Newfoundland, before embarking on a cross-Canada journey that will put it back in B.C. on Jan. 21, 2010.

"The Olympic torch relay is a tremendous opportunity to unite the country and make the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games Canada's Games," said Gary Lunn, the federal minister of state for sport. "This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring together millions of Canadians, in every province and territory, as we celebrate and welcome the passing of the Olympic Flame.

"As it makes its way across Canada, it will touch the soul of this great nation and inspire the world."

The relay will spend a total of 27 days in B.C. and visit 266 communities or places of interest. The torch itself will be carried by 3,500 torchbearers.

Canadians interested in carrying the torch can apply at iCoke.ca or at three different RBC web sites, including http://www.carrythetorch.com/. Coca-Cola and RBC are the relay's presenting sponsors.

A Vanoc release said the route through B.C., which includes visits to the 1,770-metre high Kootenay Pass and the site of Canadian Pacific Railway's Last Spike at Craigellachie in 1885, will put it within a one-hour drive of 92 per cent of the province's population.

The torch will cover 9,750 kilometres by land, water and air.

Overall, the torch relay route will be the longest domestic torch relay in Olympic history, stretching 45,000 kilometres within Canada.

"When designing this route, we wanted to include as many Canadians as possible," said Vanoc chief executive officer John Furlong. "It is our hope and our dream to unite this country and bring Canadians closer together to discover the many cultures and perspectives that make up our nation.

"We will share the Olympic Flame with young and old, northern and southern, eastern and western - and everyone in between - in order to make these truly Canada's Games."

VANCOUVER — The 2010 Winter Olympics torch relay will wind through the Toronto area, as part of a coast-to-coast event involving 12,000 Canadians.

Vancouver organizing officials said today the relay will spend 21 days in Ontario in late 2009 and early 2010 with stops including Toronto, Oshawa, Mississauga, Brampton and York Region.

"We wanted to include as many Canadians as possible," said John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC). "It's our dream to bring Canadians closer together to rediscover the many cultures and perspectives that make up our nation — to celebrate Canada."

The Canadian portion of the relay will begin Oct. 30, 2009 in Victoria and wind its way through British Columbia before heading to Canadian Forces Base Alert in Nunavut, some 900 kilometres from the North Pole. The torch also will visit Point Pelee, the southernmost point in Canada, and Cape Spear, Nfld. the easternmost tip of the country.

The relay will be in the Toronto area Dec. 17 and 18. Full route details aren't available, but organizers said earlier this year they want to include iconic places in Canada, which suggests stops on Yonge Street, Toronto City Hall and the CN Tower.The relay will cover 6,350 kilometers in Ontario with some 2,900 torchbearers.

Organizers say about 90 per cent of Canadians live within an hour's drive of some part of the relay route.

"Metaphorically, we want to bring the flame to everyone's front door," Furlong told the Star earlier this year.

Furlong said the torch, designed by Bombardier, will be built in such a way that it can't go out.

"Never," he said. "Underwater, over water, in the snow, it doesn't matter. Wind, snow, rain, sleet, tornado, it doesn't matter. That thing has to burn."

The Vancouver torch relay will be the longest domestic relay in Olympic history, stretching 45,000 kilometres inside Canada.

"I think the significance of the relay is the stimulation of public interest in the host nation in the leadup to the Games," said International Olympic Committee member Kevan Gosper of Australia. "It really is the dawn of the Games. First you have the bid announcement, then there's lots of hard work, and then finally the relay. It's highly participatory ... and it allows people to really grasp the Olympic movement."

Unlike Beijing this year, the torch won't be making any appearances outside the host country. Protesters in France and other countries came out in force when the Beijing torch went through, a move that caused no end of headaches for organizers. Olympic officials have vowed not to make that mistake again.

"The decision to have the torch go from Greece straight to the host country is the right one," Gosper said.

You also can log on to vancouver2010.comfor relay details, including information on how to apply to be a torchbearer.

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Protesters in France and other countries came out in force when the Beijing torch went through, a move that caused no end of headaches for organizers. Olympic officials have vowed not to make that mistake again.

Who's going to protest what against Canada, outside of Canada? The truth is Canada has a better chance of domestic protests than any against Canada outside of the country.

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