Bombardier Keep the Flame Burning

The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch, carried over 45,000 kilometres across Canada through snow, rain, hail, wind and sub-zero temperatures, was designed and manufactured by Montreal-based Bombardier Inc, Montreal. Inspired by the contours of Canada’s winter landscape, the design of the 2010 Olympic Torch symbolizes the tracks created in snow and ice by winter sports. Bombardier engineers and industrial designers spent more than two years designing and testing the 2010 Olympic Torch, in collaboration with the Vancouver Organising Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). The reliability of the torch in low temperatures is highlighted in a television commercial filmed in Chile.

Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch

The Olympic Torch’s design was inspired by the long horizons, graceful snowdrifts and delicate shadows that form the contours of Canada’s unique winter landscape. The shape of the torch emulates the curved pathways traced by the Torch Relay across Canada, and the lines carved by winter sport, be it skis through fresh powder or blades on ice. The torch design is fluid, organic and profoundly human. The Winter Games motto, “With Glowing Hearts”/”Des plus brillants exploits”, is engraved in the Olympic Torch.

Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch

A fuel blend of propane and isobutane allows the torch to burn in colder temperatures than any other torch in Olympic history. A vent in the side of the torch allows the Olympic Flame to unfurl like a flag. Prototypes of the torch were tested in a weather simulation chamber before the final design was put to the test in Canada’s bone-chilling winter. Bombardier manufactured 12,000 torches, one for each torchbearer, with final assembly completed by hand in Montreal, Quebec. The 2010 Olympic Torch was designed to burn brightly through snow, rain, sleet, hail, sun, wind and subzero temperatures. A special fuel blend kept the torch lit in temperatures as low as -40 °C. A side vent allows the flame to unfurl like a flag.

Click on the image below to play the Bombardier commercial in YouTube

Torch Trivia

  • Height: 945 mm (37.125 inches)
  • Weight (including fuel): 1,600 g (3.5 lb)
  • Materials used: stainless steel, aluminum and sheet moulding compound
  • Materials used for burner: stainless steel, copper and brass
  • Fuel: a blend of propane and isobutane
  • Operating time (temperature and altitude dependent): minimum of 12 minutes
  • Technologies used: compression moulding, die stamping, roll forming, 5-axis laser cutting, laser etching


The Bombardier design team included lead project engineer Brunoe Comtois, industrial designer Daniel Deschenes, lead project engineer Jugues Gregoire and industrial designer Timothy Fagan.

“Designing and manufacturing the 2010 Olympic Torch has given us an opportunity to apply our ingenuity in aerospace and rail transportation in a way that has inspired Canadians,” said Pierre Beaudoin, President and CEO of Bombardier. “Our team is very proud to have played an important role in making the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay a success.”

The TV advertising campaign was developd at Taxi Canada, Montreal, by executive creative director Stéphane Charier, associate creative director Patrick Chaubet, copywriters Martin Charron, Andrew Lord, art director Nicolas Thiboutot, agency producers Josée Fréchette, Mélanie Le Quellec, planner Anne-Marie Leclair, account directors Lucy Goode, Julie Simon, and account manager Julie Chandler.
MEDIA: Media Experts

Filming was shot in Northern Chile by director Jean-Michel Ravon via La Fabrique d’Images, Montreal. Editor was Paul Jutras. Sound was designed at Audio Z, Montreal. The music was composed especially for the TV ad by Studios Apollo in Montreal.