The Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay: a 10-day celebration of extraordinary achievements

Starting point, steel blue torch design, official uniform, and relay’s
emblem unveiled

VANCOUVER, June 25 /CNW/ – Three days after the Olympic Flame is
extinguished on the West Coast, a new flame will light in Ottawa – in the
heart of Canada’s national capital – sparking the official start of the 2010
Paralympic Torch Relay on March 3, 2010. The 10-day inspirational journey will
illuminate the extraordinary achievements of Paralympians and celebrate the
endless possibilities of the human spirit through sharing the message of
courage and determination embodied by the flame.

The relay, supported by the Government of Canada, will involve an
estimated 600 torchbearers and visit several celebration sites, which the
Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter
Games (VANOC) is actively working on and will announce at a later date. The
Paralympic Flame will travel to BC Place in downtown Vancouver for the opening
of the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games on March 12, marking the first time Canada
has hosted a Paralympic Winter Games. Tickets for all Paralympic events are on
sale now at

“The Paralympic Games are about celebrating unbelievable athletic
performances and triumphing repeatedly over adversity. The flame – and the
Paralympic Torch Relay – is a powerful physical reminder of this, of how a
dream can spark a personal and emotional transformation in the pursuit of
excellence,” said Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic
Committee (IPC), who participated in today’s announcement with a host of
dignitaries. “I know in 2010, Canadians will give a warm welcome to the flame
wherever it visits, and be great hosts to the world’s finest Paralympians.”

As well, for the first time the Paralympic Torch Relay will have its own
unique emblem. The 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay emblem – “Spark Becomes Flame”
– shows a human figure with its arms raised and joined, much like a candle’s
flame. Contained within the arms is the glow of the fire within everyone,
symbolizing the moment when imaginations are ignited and dreams are born. The
design was created by Vancouver 2010’s in-house design team.

“We felt it was important for the Paralympic Torch Relay to have its own
emblem because of its special ability to shine its own light and reveal
amazing stories of courage and perseverance in our communities and at the
Games,” said John Furlong, VANOC’s Chief Executive Officer. “To honour the
remarkable achievements of Paralympic athletes, we are planning extraordinary
relay events that will inspire and garner attention for the Vancouver 2010
Paralympic Winter Games and the Paralympic Movement.”

The March 3 lighting ceremony in Ottawa will have a uniquely Canadian
flair; the Paralympic Flame has no ancestral home, hence each Organizing
Committee has the freedom to choose a lighting method and celebration
significant to the Host Country. The details of the ceremony will be revealed
this fall by VANOC, along with the torchbearer selection process and the relay
celebration stops en route from Ottawa to Vancouver.

“The Government of Canada is proud to present the Paralympic Torch Relay,
and we encourage all Canadians to follow the flame from the relay’s start in
Ottawa to its exciting homecoming in Vancouver,” said the Honourable Gary
Lunn, Minister of State (Sport). “The Paralympic Torch Relay will spread the
Paralympic spirit from coast to coast to coast and celebrate the talents and
achievements of our great Paralympic athletes, who are an inspiration to us

Over 1,300 athletes and officials from more than 40 countries will take
part in five sports (alpine and cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey,
wheelchair curling and biathlon) during the 10-day 2010 Paralympic Winter
Games in Vancouver and Whistler next March. The big international sporting
event comes just 12 days after the region hosts the Olympic Winter Games.

“The Paralympic Torch Relay will bring the spirit of competition and
triumph that our Paralympic athletes personify to communities across British
Columbia and Canada,” said the Honourable Gordon Campbell, Premier of BC.

“We’ve already witnessed how truly incredible these athletes are and how
fierce the competition is when we hosted several Paralympic sport events at
the 2010 venues earlier this year. British Columbians are excited to host
Canada’s first-ever Paralympic Winter Games and to share in seeing the dreams
of our athletes come true right here in their home.”

At the news conference today with Sir Philip, VANOC also unveiled the
torch and uniform design for the 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay. Brad Lennea of
Whistler, BC, a retired member of Canada’s Para-Alpine Ski Team and a
Paralympic Torchbearer in Beijing, and fellow skier Karolina Wisniewska of
Vancouver, BC, carried the distinctive steel blue torch, inspired by the
Canadian winter landscape and the lines etched on ice by winter sports.

The one-metre-long torch, designed by Bombardier, has an ergonomic,
curved and modern design and features the emblem of the 2010 Paralympic Winter
Games, a red maple leaf air intake cut-out and an engraving of the Games motto
With Glowing Hearts/Des plus brillants exploits. It also has robust technology
created by Bombardier’s aerospace and transportation design teams to weather
the extremes of the Canadian winter. The torch can be operated in temperatures
ranging from -50 C to over 40 C, through rain, sleet, snow and wind.

The Paralympic Torchbearer uniform, which seamlessly blends in with the
torch design, is steel blue in colour and accented with bright bursts of blue
and green on the jacket’s left arm. The uniform, designed and produced by the
Hudson’s Bay Company, consists of a jacket, pullover pants, toque and knitted
red mittens. The uniform is a commemorative keepsake for torchbearers.

The uniform also features the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay
emblem on the chest and the IPC symbol, known as agitos, on the back. Silver
reflective elements, including “Vancouver 2010” on the right jacket sleeve and
right back pant leg, have been added for prominence and visibility.

Further information on the 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay, including photos
of the torch and torchbearer uniforms, is available online at


VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging
of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The
2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from
February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic
Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Please visit for more information.

About IPC

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body
of the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Summer and Winter Paralympic
Games, and serves as the International Federation for nine sports, for which
it supervises and coordinates the World Championships and other competitions.
The IPC is committed to enabling Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting
excellence and to developing sport opportunities for persons with a
disability, from the beginner to elite level. In addition, the IPC aims to
promote the Paralympic values, which include courage, determination,
inspiration and equality.

About the Government of Canada

The Government of Canada is proud to make 2010 a celebration for all
Canadians. Through strategic investments in programming and funding, the
spirit and excitement will be felt far and wide and leave lasting legacies for
future generations. Through the Olympic Torch Relay and Paralympic Torch
Relay, the Government of Canada is supporting citizen and community
participation, as well as the inclusion of Aboriginal, ethnocultural and
official language communities. For more information on the Government of
Canada’s contribution to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter
Games, visit

About Bombardier

A world-leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from
commercial aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment,
systems and services, Bombardier Inc. is a global corporation headquartered in
Canada. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2008, were $17.5
billion US, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD).
Bombardier is listed as an index component to the Dow Jones Sustainability
World and North America indexes. News and information are available at

About the Hudson’s Bay Company

The Hudson’s Bay Company is a Premier National Partner and the General
Retail Merchant of the 2010 Winter Games. In partnership with VANOC, the
company is designing and manufacturing the official uniforms for the
30,000-person Games-time workforce; it will also be outfitting the athletes’
Villages, in both Vancouver and Whistler, with quality products to make the
athletes comfortable in 2010. The Hudson’s Bay Company 500-store network
currently sells the largest assortment of authentic Vancouver 2010 licensed


The torch’s large size (over 94 centimeters 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 Paralympic Flame
will unfurl like a flag fluttering in the wind from the torch’s unique
30-centimetre-long vertical flame outlet. The flame will burn for at least 12
minutes. 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.

The torch (with fuel) weighs about 1.6 kilograms and contains stainless
steel, aluminum and a sheet-moulding compound. Ninety-five per cent of the
Paralympic Torch is composed of materials and technology made or designed in
Canada. Approximately 600 torches will be manufactured – one for every
torchbearer taking part in the Paralympic Torch Relay.

For further information: Media Contacts: Greg Alexis, VANOC
Communications, (604) 403-1627,

Reproduced from