Bombardier reaches Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch production milestone

  • Excitement builds as 6,000 of 12,000 torches are completed for the Olympic Torch Relay

Global train and plane manufacturer Bombardier, designer and manufacturer of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch, reached a milestone today with the completion of 6,000 of the 12,000 torches that will be used in the cross-Canada Olympic Torch Relay. Production of the torch began in June 2009 and is on schedule to be completed in December 2009. More than 50 Bombardier employees have been involved in the torch design, testing and manufacturing process.

“The Olympic Torch project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Bruno Comtois, Lead Project Engineer with Bombardier Aerospace. “As transportation engineers, we all had to step out of our comfort zone and push our limits. The result is an Olympic Torch that embodies the spirit of the Olympic Games as well as Bombardier’s long history of ingenuity.”

Inspired by the contours of Canada’s winter landscape, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch is designed to withstand colder temperatures than any other torch in Olympic history and uses a dual burner system to guard against extreme weather conditions.

Bombardier manufactured the torch components and sourced parts from different suppliers. The torch is made from anodized aluminum, stainless steel and a composite compound. Each torch weighs 1.6 kg, including fuel, which is a mix of propane and isobutane. The final components are assembled by hand, giving Bombardier employees a unique opportunity to connect with the Games.

The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch represents an extensive collaboration between Bombardier’s Aerospace and Transportation groups, in partnership with the Organizing Committee for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).

“This is one of the most important highlights of my career,” said Daniel Deschênes, Industrial Designer for Bombardier Transportation. “We followed the same rigorous production standards that Bombardier applies to the design and manufacturing of planes and trains, so we’re excited to put the torch to the ultimate test in Canadian winter weather conditions.”

The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch, designed and manufactured by Bombardier, features a curved, modern design inspired by the Canadian winter landscape. Its robust technology was developed to weather the rugged and varied journey of the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay during the Canadian winter. From the mild climate of Vancouver Island to the bone-chilling Arctic cold of Canadian Forces Station Alert located less than 900 kilometres from the North Pole, the torch will be operational from -40°C to +40°C through rain, sleet, snow and wind.

About Bombardier
A world-leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from commercial aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, systems and services, Bombardier Inc. is a global corporation headquartered in Canada. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2009, were $19.7 billion US, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). Bombardier is listed as an index component to the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America indexes. News and information are available at

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 February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit


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Karina Ruffo Leduc
Senior Advisor, Communications