Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

October 28, 2009 18:29 ET

Government of Canada Supports National Defence and Canadian Forces Participation in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 28, 2009) - The Government of Canada is pleased to support the participation of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The 106-day Olympic Torch Relay will be held between October 30, 2009, and February 12, 2010.

Today, a Canadian Forces Polaris CC-150 aircraft (Airbus 310) is transporting a Canadian delegation to Athens, Greece, as part of the Flame Retrieval Flight. The Polaris will then return with the Olympic Flame and the delegation, arriving in Victoria, B.C., on October 30, 2009.

"The Government of Canada is pleased to be providing the air transportation, through the Department of National Defence, for delivery of the Olympic Flame to Canada," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway. "There is a natural connection with the uniform, the service to country, and the patriotism that is implicit in the Olympic Games."

The Canadian Forces will also participate in the Flame Arrival ceremony in Canada on October 30, with a 50-member guard of honour and a bag piper at the 443 Squadron Hangar at Victoria International Airport. Following the arrival, 60 cadets, the Naden Band of Maritime Forces Pacific, and an over-flight of four CF-18 aircraft will be involved with the Olympic Torch Lighting Ceremony at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria.

As the Olympic Flame makes its way across Canada, it will travel through 13 Canadian Forces bases - Esquimalt, Comox, Cold Lake, Goose Bay, Greenwood, Gagetown, Valcartier, Petawawa, Trenton, Borden, Shilo, Moose Jaw and Suffield - as well as Canadian Forces Station Alert. A total of 204 CF members, DND employees, and their families will run as torchbearers on the participating bases, either in teams of 20 or as individuals. Bases will also organize celebrations to herald the passing of the Olympic Flame through CF communities.

As part of the celebrations leading up to the 2010 Winter Games, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games planned the Olympic Torch Relay, presented by Coca-Cola and Royal Bank of Canada, and supported by the Government of Canada. The relay will be a journey of 106 days, over a distance of 45,000 km, involving more than 12,000 torchbearers in more than 1,000 Canadian communities, including the 14 Canadian Forces facilities.

For more information on the Olympic Torch Relay, please visit: www.vancouver2010.com.

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