Around 600 torchbearers will be helping to carry the Paralympic torch from Ottawa to Vancouver, for a 10-day relay leading up to the start of the 2010 Paralympic Games.

VANOC yesterday announced details of the event, including the relay emblem, torch design and athletes’ uniforms.

“The Paralympic Games are about celebrating unbelievable athletic performances and triumphing repeatedly over adversity,” said Sir Philip Craven, who is the president of the International Paralympic Committee and a five-time Paralympic basketball player.

“The flame and the torch relay (are) a powerful reminder of this, of how a dream can spark a personal and emotional transformation in the pursuit of excellence.”

John Furlong, CEO of VANOC, said one of the most inspiring things he’s ever seen was in Beijing, when the final torchbearer — who had one leg — pulled himself up a rope to the ceiling to light the Paralympic cauldron.

“It was an athletic feat and a comment to say you can do anything. It really transformed the stadium and was something I don’t think I’ll ever forget, because it was something I didn’t think could ever be done.”

Furlong said VANOC is looking for a way to inspire Canadians in the same way.

The Paralympic torch relay emblem, called Sparks Become a Flame, shows a human figure with its arms raised and joined like a candle’s flame.

The steel blue Paralympic torchbearer uniform, which was designed by the Hudson’s Bay Company, is meant to reflect the colours of the Canadian winter.