There has been an estimated 12,000 torchbearers, including notable Canadian celebrities such as Shania Twain, Simon Whitfield, Silken Lauman, Alexandre Despatie and Catriona Le May Doan and past and present NHL hockey stars including Sidney Crosby, Wayne Gretzky, and Trevor Linden. In fact, many television personalities were selected as torchbearers, mainly from CTV's parent company; CTVglobemedia during the torch relay.
On 22 October 2009 the Olympic Torch was lit during a ceremony held at the Ancient Olympia in Greece. Actress Maria Nafpliotou played the role of the High Priestess and ignited the flame using a parabolic mirror and the sun's ray. The first torch was carried by Olympic skier Vassilis Dimitriadis.