Olympic torch nearing Vancouver

Posted By: The Ski Channel on November 2, 2009 2:22 pm

The Olympic torch touched down in Canada Friday, and has started its 106-day trek to Vancouver, lighting smiles along the way. Today the torch is being relayed from Tofino, BC to Campbell River, BC–lovely places, both, and merely on day 4 of the epic journey, which is to be the longest domestic torch relay in Olympic history.

It all started last Thursday evening with a ceremony at Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens, where officials passed the Olympic flame to representatives from the Vancouver Olympic Committee. Next, the flame flew via a Canadian Forces CC-150 Polaris in a special miner’s lantern to Victoria, BC. 

“On behalf of all Canadians we accept the Olympic Flame with humility and respect,” announced John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), upon receiving the flame. “This moment marks the beginning of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay and we take with us the knowledge that the flame represents much more than a sporting event. It embodies the values of peace, friendship and respect, and has the power to unite, inspire and bring harmony to the world.”

The forty-five-thousand kilometer torch journey will culminate on February 12, 2010 in Vancouver, with the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron. “Along the way, 12,000 people will have proudly carried the Olympic Flame and brought Canadians and the entire world with them on their journey to our city,” said Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson. “Vancouver is ready and waiting to welcome the world.”

The flame will become the first to come within 900 kilometers of the North Pole before traveling as far east as Cape Spear in St. John’s, Newfoundland before making a cross-country trip back to the host city.  Currently, the Olympic torch is being enjoyed by surfers as it touched down in Tofino–a popular surf spot even for U.S. Ski Team athletes. Yesterday, after a blessing ceremony, local surfer Raf Bruhwiler actually rode the waves with torch in hand.

Visit vancouver2010.com for more information and to follow the flame.