The torches that have brought the Olympic flame across Canada are the "most technologically advanced ever created" and they have the pricetag to prove it.
Canadian aerospace giant Bombadier designed the torches in 2007 and manufactured 12,000 of them for the journey to Vancouver. The design was said to be inspired "by both the lines carved into the snow by skiers shushing down mountains and the undulating beauty of the snowy Canadian landscape."
Unlike the traditional cauldron-type torches used in the past, the Vancouver design will "unfurl like a flag fluttering in the wind," a new wrinkle made possible by an innovative foot-long vertical flame outlet with a redundant burner. The technology ensures that the flame will not go out in wind, rain, snow or sleet (although there have been some problems, mostly related to the fact that the torch only has a life of 12 minutes).
The flame is on the tail end of a 106-day journey from ancient Olympia, Greece to Vancouver. Over 12,000 men, women and children will have served as torchbearers. For $349 they can purchase the torch after use.