This Torch is on Fire: 5 Things To Know About The Pan Am Torch Relay

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

Pan Am torch.jpg

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.

5.)    #CelebrateAndShare

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.   


 

Welcome Trevor Niblett: An Interview with the Rookie

Trevor Niblett, he may be new to the team but he's not new to the halfpipe scene in Canada, he's second on the Canadian Rankings List. We were happy to catch our newest edition for an interview, just so you can get to know our Rookie Rider! 

What is your name? Trevor George Niblett 

Any nicknames? T-Nibbs or Nibbles 

Where do you live? Toronto, Ontario...kinda mid-town 

What resorts did you grow up riding? Georgian Peaks and Mount St. Louis Moonstone

When did you start snowboarding? When I was 8 years old  

Why did you start snowboarding? My father showed me some snowboarding videos and I thought it was the coolest thing ever!

What is your favorite trick? Straight air....Well backside air (that's with a method)  

Where is your favorite place to ride in Canada? Hmmmm....Whistler

Who was the first halfpipe rider you remember who you looked up to? Maybe Kevin Perice but probably Terje Haakonsen

Why did you choose halfpipe as a discipline? Because it feels like hitting 5 big jumps in a row

What are you goals for snowboarding? Getting as good as I possibly could get, going to the 2018 Olympics and making it to an X Games 

What are you looking forward to in this coming season? Riding with my friends and pushing ourselves 

How do you hope to contribute to the sport of halfpipe? Ummm...I don't know...maybe I will invent my own trick someday

Do you have advice for any riders who are trying to get onto the team? Go as high as you can! 

Trevor's Recent Results 

3rd - Eastern Canadian Regionals, 3rd - Sony Snow Crown, 5th - US Open Trials 

Follow Trevor on Instagram @trevorniblett

World Championships in Kreishberg, Austria

The lives of athletes are always a challenge, especially when things don’t go to plan like last week’s contest at the World Championships in Kreishberg. Although it wasn’t the best results the team has had in the past or start of the season it was not for a lack to effort.


The team had two days of training before the contest. One of them was a night time practice under the bright lights of the Kreishberg halfpipe and the next morning. Coach Ben Boyd of Shred Excel watched over the team as they trained in what some felt an undervert halfpipe, meaning the walls stood at 98 degrees or less.

Qualifiers turned out to be a bluebird morning with the ladies having one heat of twenty three riders. Katie Tsuyuki ended up placing the best with 15th place, followed by Calynn Irwin (17th) and Alex Duckworth (19th).

The men’s heats were much later with a three hour break in between so boardercross finals could be televised.

Qualifying under the night lights Derek Livingston was our best male Canadain placing 25th and was followed by Brad Martin, 33rd.

The riders have a break from World Cups for now, but Calynn will travel to Laax to get onto the alternate list for the invite only European Open. We wish her the best of luck.     

First World Cup: Copper Mountain Grand Prix

View of halfpipe from the bottom

Oh World Cups in America. What is there to be said? These contests are always the hardest of the season. Not only is it a country with the deepest talent pool in the world, but as the hosting national they are granted the most quota spots, making a small army of capable pipe riders. Throw in all the Olympians from the other nations and it’s almost just as competitive as the Olympic Games.

There were also some new rules for this contest. With no semi-finals, the contest only took the top 6 women into finals. For the men, only the top 5 from each heat, to make up 10, get to see the big show.

 Still, our Halfpipe CAN team did well considering these odds.

The day started off with Calynn Irwin, Katie Tsuyuki and 22 other ladies who benefited by the fresh pipe, slightly above freezing temperatures and what was going to be the only light of the day. Both athletes put down a decent run. Calynn’s best run consisted of airs of good amplitude, frontside 540, backside 540, frontside 720 to switch air combo at the bottom, she placed 17th. Katie’s best run provided variety starting with a backside ollyoop, backside 540, sato flip, backside air, frontside 720, cab 360 to a frontside air to fakie. Katie was the top female Canadian placing 12th.

 

Next was the first heat of men where Derek Livingston was representing our Halfpipe CAN team.  With a cab 1080, frontside 900, backside, 900, frontside 720, cab 900, Derek landed a killer run. He just missed making the top five by a point.  Derek was the top male Canadian placing 12th .

 Derek Livingston getting coached by Shred Excel's Ben Boyd

Derek Livingston getting coached by Shred Excel's Ben Boyd

The day got darker and pipe was icy with falling temperatures, still the second heat was on for the 21 competitors. This heat had Halfpipe CAN rider Brad Martin and fellow Canadian rider Trevor Nibblet. Brad laid it all out on the line on his second run throwing his high risk double, but the wintry wall got the best of him and he slipped out. Trevor had a similar ending to his run on his frontside 1080.

 Brad Martin sending it in the dark 

Brad Martin sending it in the dark 

A huge thanks to the coaches at Shred Excel, Ben Boyd and Elijah and Abe Teeter, who really supported all of our Canadian riders throughout training and the contest. These guys are choice.

 Halfpipe CAN athlete's during Men's second heat after Brad's first run Photo:Edith Kongas

Halfpipe CAN athlete's during Men's second heat after Brad's first run Photo:Edith Kongas

Finals for today are chalk full of Americans in both the men’s (7/10) and ladies’ (4/6) fields. Let’s not forget about Japan's Olympic bronze medalist Taku Hiraoka and, who is known to be the Chinese Shawn White, Yiwei Zhang. It should be a great final which you can watch live on mountain or on NBC December 21 at 3PM EST.  

This contest we were missing team riders Mercedes Nicoll due to an injury and Alex Duckworth who had other engagements to attend to.

Next up is the Rev Tour on December 16th. Derek, Calynn and Alex will be competing in this contest where we are all sending them positive vibes!