Organizers of the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver plan to create the longest torch relay across one nation in Olympic history.
The torch will cover more than 35,000 kilometers (21,748 miles), winding through every province and territory, for about 100 days leading up to the Games," organizers said Monday. Some 12,000 people will eventually be selected to carry the torch "We want to put the torch into as many hands as we possibly can," Jim Richards, Vancouver Games relay director, told a crowd of Olympic officials, athletes and sponsors in Halifax. The torch relay for the Beijing Summer Games will be the longest of any Olympics, but will cover five continents on an 85,000-mile (137,000-kilometer), 130-day route.
Specific details of the Vancouver relay _ including the cross-country route it will take and how torch bearers will be selected _ won't be revealed until later this year. Canadian athletes and a trio of fuzzy mascots gathered in Halifax, after organizers said they want to make the announcement on Canada's east coast to show that the games, particularly the torch relay, is an event all Canadians can enjoy, regardless of where they live. Vancouver is the largest city in British Columbia on Canada's west coast.