Toronto 2015: TO2015 Unveils Pan Am Torch and Names First Torchbearers

This article was originally published on the Toronto 2015 website.

Olympian Simon Whitfield joins a Canadian forces veteran, a Toronto Police Service’s officer and a music-loving teen in being named the first torchbearers to carry the flame in the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay, presented by President’s Choice® and OLG. 

Today, the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) and its relay partners announced 10 torchbearers, and unveiled the torch and torchbearer uniform.

Joining Whitfield among the relay’s 3,000 torchbearers will be  Pat Israel (63), Michael Crawford (51), Cameron Sault (28), Bob Cassels (74), Tanisha Martinez (22), Francis Atta (28), Melanie Byland (29), Zsofia Balazs (24) and Denzel Innis (17). To learn more about these torchbearers,

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

Featured on the torch are the colourful United We Play! pictograms —depictions of people in motion —symbolizing the assembly of athletes through the celebration of sport and culture. The aluminum torch stands 65 centimetres high and weighs 1.2 kilograms (or roughly the same weight as a baseball bat). With a burn time of 10 to 12 minutes, the flame can withstand winds of up to 70 kilometres per hour and is visible in all kinds of weather conditions.

“A torch relay is powerful and patriotic,” said Simon Whitfield, Olympic gold and silver medallist and Pan Am bronze medallist. “I’m looking forward to that moment as it truly is an honour to represent my community and Canada.”

During the 41-day torch relay, each of the 3,000 torchbearers will complete, on average, a 200-metre relay segment. The torch will be carried by more than 60 modes of transportation and exceed 5,000 kilometres on the road and 15,000 kilometres by air.

As part of a March break activation featuring Pan Am activites, the torch will be on display at the CN Tower, the Official Attraction of the Games, until Friday, March 20, 2015. This is the one and only location to see the torch until the start of the torch relay, when the Pan Am flame is lit in a traditional ceremony in Teotihucan, Mexico, before it travels to Canada.

About the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay  
The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay, presented by President’s Choice® and OLG, is supported by community partner CIBC and signature supporters Star Media Group and Metroland Media, Ontario Trillium Foundation and Porter Airlines. The torch relay will invite Canadians to celebrate and share the Pan Am spirit throughout its 41-day journey towards Toronto, the Host City of the Games.

The torch relay starts May 30, 2015, and concludes July 10, 2015, with the dramatic lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony in downtown Toronto.

The TORONTO 2015 Games are funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, as well as Lead Partner CIBC and other partners and sponsors.

For more information, visit