The 5 cool things to know about the Pan Am torch’s 41-day relay throughout Ontario and various cities in Canada.
1.) Lite the Flame and Pass it On
The Pan Am flame represents the spirit and history of the Games which is deeply rooted in tradition. It symbolizes the unification of the 41 Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) nations.
While the Olympic Flame is traditionally lit at Ancient Olympia, the Pan American version has been lit by Aztec people in ancient temples, first at the Cerro de la Estrella in Mexico City and in more recent years at the 65-metre high Pyramid of the Sun, the third largest pyramid in the world.
The flame was lit in Teotihuacan, Mexico by International Olympic Committee member Vasquez Raña. He then passed it to Toronto 2015 chairman David Petterson and then on to Jesus Omar Diaz Pastrán who became the first athlete carrier. After it was flown to Canada to start its journey to our host city of Toronto.
2.) The Specs
The torch its self was designed to display the energy and playfulness of the Toronto 2015 campaign. There are colourful “United we Play!” pictograms surrounding the torch signifying people in motion. It all symbolizes athletes coming together though the celebration of sport and culture.
- Length: 65 cm
- Weight: 1.2 kg
- Material: aluminum
- 10 to 12 minutes’ burn time
- Can withstand winds up to 70 km/h
- Visible in all weather conditions
- Can accommodate a variety of modes of transportation
3.) 3,000+ Torchbearers and more than 130 Communities
During the relay the torch will pass through over 3,000 torchbearers’ hands and through more than 130 communities.
The bearers are chosen though both public and private processes. Meaning, some are chosen by the local communities and some by the Game’s sponsors and stakeholders.
Our rider and board member Derek Livingston was one of these privileged bearers and ran the torch through his local community of Aurora, Ontario.
Derek shares this honor with other athletes and famous Canadians such as world figure skating champion Patrick Chan, two-time Olympic champion freestyle skier Alexandre Bilodeau, two-time Olympic triathlon medallist Simon Whitfield and retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield
4.) Over 20,000Kms
The torch will travel over 20,000Kms via road, air and water. It will not only be ran and flown, but also travel with over sixty alternative means of transportation ranging from kayaks to bikes. The Pan Am flame will also travel to Richmond, BC, Calgary, AB, Winnipeg, MB, Gatineau, QC, Montreal, QC, and Halifax. NS.
Get into the Pan Am social media hashtag to keep up with recent events on the flame’s travel throughout Canada and your local community or follow @TO2015torch on twitter. The #CelebrateAndShare hashtag is also the general tag for the Games, so you can use it to find out the latest on the athletes and events through social media outlets like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.