2010 Games sets record domestic torch run

Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:57pm EST
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - The torch relay for the 2010 Winter Olympics will cover 45,000 km (29,250 miles), but stay entirely within host country Canada, organizers of the Vancouver Games said on Friday.

The relay will be the longest domestic torch run in Olympic history, organizers said.

It will begin October 30, 2009, in Victoria, British Columbia, and pass through 1,000 communities as the Olympic Flame winds its way around the country back to Vancouver on the Pacific Coast on February 12, 2010.

The route will take the flame to within a one-hour drive of 90 percent of the Canadian population in a bid to drum up support for the event, the Vancouver Organizing Committee said.

The route includes trips by air and water, including a flight to Alert, Nunavut, that will bring the torch to the world's northernmost permanently inhabited community and within 900 km (585 miles) of the North Pole.

The torch run for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing was marked by anti-China protests in several countries.

(Reporting Allan Dowd, Editing Jeffrey Jones)