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First Pan Am Torchbearers unveiled
March 16, 2015
By Laura Finney

The Pan Am/Parapan Am Games organizing committee has announced 11 torchbearers. Included on that short list is decorated former Olympian Simon Whitfield.

“A torch relay is powerful and patriotic,” said Whitfield “I’m looking forward to that moment as it truly is an honour to represent my community and Canada.”

He will be joining a Canadian forces veteran, a Toronto Police Service’s Officer, and a music loving teen, the organizing committee announced today at the Ontario Science Centre.

In total 3,000 torchbearers will carry the Pan Am torch May 30 to July 10 on a 41-day journey through over 130 communities, including several in York Region, such as Newmarket, Markham and Vaughan.

Along with the torchbearers, the organizing committee also unveiled the torch and the uniform the bearers will be wearing.

“The torch is a unique symbol of the Pan Am Games and carries a powerful energy that will unite Canadians,” said Sasd Rafi, chief executive officer of TO2015. “The torchbearers will proudly carry the flame through more than 130 communities, igniting the Pan Am spirit as they go.”

The aluminum torch is 65 cm tall, and weighs 1.2 kilograms. It features colorful United We Play! pictograms, symbolizing the assembly of athletes.

It has a burn time of about 10 to 12 minutes, can withstand up to 70 km/h winds, and is visible in various weather conditions.

During the March Break, the torch will be on display at the CN tower until Friday.

This will be the only time to see the torch until the start of the relay, when it will be lit during a traditional ceremony in Teotihucan, Mexico before travelling to Canada.

It will pass through Markham June 27 and on June 30 it will be stopping at the Markham Civic Centre.

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Each torchbearer will complete, on average, a 200-metre relay segment.

The torch will be carried by more than 60 modes of transportation, including by plane, train and ferry.

It will travel over 5,000 km on the road and 15,000 km by air.