The Amazing Olympic Torch Relay - Top 10 Facts and Stories

    Thursday, February 12, 2009 marks the beginning of the
    'one-year-countdown' to the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron in Vancouver
    for the 2010 Winter Games

    TORONTO, Feb. 10 /CNW/ -

    1.  Each host country gets to design its own Olympic Torch, but the torch
        must be:
        -   approximately 1 kg in weight,
        -   be able to stay alight in winds up to 65 km/hour
        -   be able to stay alight through a typical downpour

    2.  Lake Simcoe, Ontario's Father Maurice Ouimet - owner of the first
        snowmobile ever made (built in 1950) - snowmobiled his leg of the
        1988 Olympic Torch Relay to Calgary

    3.  Canada is home to both the longest and shortest relays in one
        country. The 2010 Olympic Torch Relay is the longest (12,000
        Torchbearers carry the flame 300-400 m each, over 106 days and
        touching 1,020 communities). The 1976 Montreal Relay (Ottawa to
        Montreal) was the shortest

    4.  The Olympic Flame is first lit in front of the ruins of the Temple of
        Hera in Olympia, Greece, emphasizing the connection between the
        ancient Games and the modern Games

    5.  Petrolia, Ontario's Heather Freer gave birth to her daughter Alyssa
        eight hours after running with the Olympic Flame to Calgary in 1988

    6.  In 2004 Tom Cruise and Sylvester Stallone ran with the flame during
        the US leg of the Olympic Torch Relay to Athens

    7.  Backup lanterns are a part of every Olympic Torch Relay, and are used
        to reignite the flame if it happens to go out. Olive oil, propane and
        butane have all been used to fuel the Olympic Flame

    8.  In 2001 the Olympic Torch Relay paused for a moment of silence
        outside the Pentagon to honour the victims and heroes of 9/11

    9.  RBC is giving more than 2,300 'every-day' Canadians the chance to
        carry the flame simply by making a small pledge to help create a
        better Canada (walk instead of drive, recycle more, etc). Pledge at & cross it off your bucket list!

    10. Eighty two per cent of the Torchbearer submissions received to date
        by RBC have been from 'small town' Canada (people living outside of
        Canada's six largest cities)

    Courtesy of - giving every Canadian (over
the age of 13) a chance to carry the Olympic Flame on the way to the Vancouver
2010 Olympic Winter Games

For further information:

For further information: Brian Findlay, Stellick Communications, (416)
603-9452 x 301, (416) 802-4062 (mobile),

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