The Starting Point

While it may seem out-of-the ordinary to start the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay on the west coast of Canada, when you hear about the reason and meaning behind it, it makes perfect sense and will help make an extraordinary relay! 

The modern-day Olympic Torch Relay is derived from ceremonies once part of the ancient Games of Olympia, Greece. Heralds were summoned to travel throughout Greece to announce the Games of Olympia, declaring a sacred truce for the duration of the celebration. In addition, the heralds issued an invitation to come celebrate and participate in the competition and festivities.

And that is the goal of the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. Some will travel to Vancouver to participate in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Others will follow the Games on television, through the internet or the media. Many will travel to Vancouver and Whistler as spectators to cheer the athletes on to victory. As it winds its way through Canada, the Olympic Flame serves as an opportunity for Canadians across the country to participate in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. In fact, more than 90 per cent of Canadians will be within a one-hour drive of the relay. 

Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is the starting point for the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. While the city is only about 70 kilometres from Vancouver, the site of the Opening Ceremony for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the torch relay will be taking the long way (45,000 kilometres long way) around the country to include as many Canadian communities as possible as we connect the path of northern lights.