News releases

Torchbearers from Around the Globe to Visit Canada and Join the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay

Tofino, BC, Oct. 28, 2009 – Fifteen well-known world citizens are adding global intrigue and excitement to the longest domestic torch relay in Olympic history by participating as Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torchbearers. The first runner kicks off the program on Nov. 1, 2009.

The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, presented by Coca-Cola and RBC and supported by the Government of Canada, begins this amazing Canadian journey tomorrow in Victoria, BC. On day three of the relay, a former Olympian and four-time gold medal winner, speed skater Chun Lee-Kyung from South Korea, passes the flame along the route in Tofino, BC.

This international media program was developed by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) in collaboration with the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC). In total, 15 international torchbearers—comprised of former Olympic athletes as well as entertainers and media celebrities who embody the spirit of the Olympic Games—are carrying the flame to share the Olympic spirit while inspiring a global audience with images from Canada.

Each torchbearer’s journey through Canadian landscapes will be broadcast and shared in his or her home countries during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay and again during the 2010 Winter Games, captivating new international audiences to see a trip to Canada in their future plans.

“The 2010 Olympic Torch Relay International Media Program is a great way to promote our country around the world,” says the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism. “This is the perfect opportunity to take part in some of Canada's unique experiences while connecting with our friendly people. We look forward to welcoming visitors to the 2010 Games and for many generations to come.”

“The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay will touch over 1,000 Canadian communities from coast to coast to coast. This program will help spread the excitement and share the Olympic spirit around the world,” says Jim Richards, director of torch relays for VANOC.

As Michele McKenzie, president and CEO of the CTC, enthusiastically notes, “We’re behind Canada’s Games all the way and know they will be Canada’s success. We won’t miss this wonderful opportunity to promote every region of Canada with new audiences and inspire more travellers to explore our home.” 

Watch for:

  • Nov. 1: Olympic speed skater Chun Lee-Kyung from South Korea in Tofino, BC
  • Nov. 4: Olympic aerial skier Alisa Camplin from Australia in Dawson City, YT
  • Nov. 9: TV commentator Mary Carillo from the US in Iqaluit, NU
  • Nov. 12: Olympic figure skater Katarina Witt from Germany in L’Anse aux Meadows, NL
  • Nov. 17: Olympic speed skater Ikue Teshigawara from Japan in Port Hawkesbury, NS
  • Nov. 22: Olympic speed skater Yang Yang from China in Summerside, PEI
  • Nov. 24: Olympic swimmer César Cielo from Brazil at Hopewell Rocks, NB
  • Dec. 3: Olympic tennis player Nicolas Kiefer from Germany in Québec City, QC
  • Dec. 17: Bollywood star Akshay Kumar from India in Toronto, ON
  • Jan. 7: Olympic ski jumper Michael “Eddie the Eagle” Edwards from the UK in Winnipeg, MB
  • Jan. 11: Olympic figure skater Philippe Candeloro from France in Wanuskewin Heritage Park, SK 
  • Jan. 19: Opera singer Anna Maria Kaufmann from Germany in Calgary, AB
  • Jan. 25: Olympic speed skater Ye Qiaobo from China in Osoyoos, BC
  • Feb. 5: Torchbearer to be announced for Whistler, BC
  • Feb. 11: Torchbearer to be announced for Burnaby, BC

About the CTC
The CTC is Canada’s national tourism marketing organization. Our vision is inspiring the world to explore Canada. With our partners in the tourism industry and the governments of Canada, the provinces and the territories, we advertise and market Canada in 12 countries around the world, conduct industry research and studies, and promote product and industry development. For daily updates on CTC initiatives, subscribe to CTC News, available through RSS feeds and by e-mail. 

About VANOC
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 Feb. 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.

For further information please contact:
Jitka Licenik
Corporate Communications Advisor
Canadian Tourism Commission
Tel: 604 638-2482
Fax: 604 638-8438
licenik [dot] jitka [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca
www.mediacentre.canada.travel

Meaghan Benmore
Hill & Knowlton
Tel: 604-340-5025
meaghan [dot] benmore [at] hillandknowlton [dot] ca