The Olympic torch will kick off the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver on February 12—the end of a long journey that starts on October 30 in Victoria, British Columbia. It will be the longest Olympic torch relay to take place in a single country, though it will end just 43 miles from where it started.
The path of the flame begins with a lighting ceremony in Greece; from there, it travels by air to Victoria, where its real journey begins. The flame will visit more than 1,000 communities and every Canadian province and territory along its way, taking 106 days and covering 27,000 miles. During the journey, there will be 13 celebration communities that will commemorate the Games with either day or evening festivities.
First up is the evening celebration in Victoria on October 30 (visit vancouver 2010.com for updates and a route map). From there, the flame makes its way up through the western provinces and then across to the northern tip of Canada, then down to St. Johns in Newfoundland, the most easterly city of North America, before making its way across the country to Vancouver, where it will start the Games.
The relay will use 12,000 torchbearers and, upon completion of its route, the torch will have passed within one mile of approximately 90 percent of Canada’s citizens—the reason for this circuitous journey.
Note: This article was originally published in October 2009.