OLYMPIC TORCH CARRIED BY DOG SLED THROUGH YUKON VILLAGE

OLD CROW, Yukon – The 2010 Olympic torch warmed up this frigid Arctic community Wednesday as it was carried into a town celebration on a dogsled.Residents of the Yukon village north of the Arctic Circle waved and smiled as the Olympic flame was carried off the plane into the -36C winter air.Relay organizers were bundled into a sled pulled by snowmobiles as they travelled into Old Crow to prepare for the community celebration.Meanwhile, the flame was transported by four torchbearers. Two of them ran with the flame, before passing it off to a torchbearer on snowshoe.At one point, the flame went out when the fuel cannister ran dry. Relay organizers have discovered the flame can burn only about half as long in the extreme cold.The torch was re-lit with the original flame, which is carried in a specially made miner’s lantern along the relay route, and the run proceeded.The flame was then zipped into town by another torchbearer, Martha Benjamin, a 1964 Canadian cross-country ski champion.She was on a dogsled pulled by a team of yelping, barking dogs that charged past several historic buildings on the picturesque route toward a community feast and aboriginal blessing ceremony.The torch relay is taking the 2010 Olympic flame to some of the most extreme places in Canada during its trip to the North, including a stop Sunday in Alert, the northernmost inhabited community on the planet.Earlier Wednesday, the torch was taken through Dawson City, where Australian ski champion Alisa Camplin carried it.Camplin made history in 2002 when she became Australia’s first female Olympic Winter Games gold medalist. She won for aerials at the Salt Lake City Games, then won bronze in the same event in Turin in 2006.Camplin is one of 15 international torchbearers in the 106-day relay.

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