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Olympic torch snuffed by Canadian weather

Nov. 25, 2009 at 4:23 PM   |   Comments

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- The 2010 Olympic Winter Games torch making its way across Canada has been blown or frozen out of service 12 times in its trek so far, organizers say.

Since the Olympic flame arrived in British Columbia from Athens Oct. 30, hundreds of runners have carried the torch on what will be a record 28,000-mile journey through every province and territory -- to 1,036 communities -- and back for the opening ceremonies of the games in Vancouver Feb. 12.

Relay supervisor Jim Richards told The (Vancouver) Province the arctic part of the trek Nov. 9 in the barren tundra near Resolute Bay, Nunavut, was the worst with temperatures near minus 40 and 40 mph winds. The torch wouldn't even light, he said.

"The wind and conditions were such that we couldn't get the torch warmed up that morning," he said.

Regardless, he said there is always a backup flame from Athens in the security vehicle that accompanies the relay and four other flames from Athens are burning in Vancouver, where the games will begin Feb. 12.

The torch was being run on the other side of the country Wednesday in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where the weather was more balmy, the newspaper said.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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