"To help ignite the Pan Am spirit, TO2015 is calling for Canadians to enter the TORONTO 2015 torchbearer contest for their chance to carry the flame in the TORONTO 2015 Torch Relay for the Pan Am Games.
The contest is an invitation to the nation to join the journey, share the spirit and show community pride.
TO2015’s torchbearer contest for the Pan Am Games opened October 1, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. and will close on December 1, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. (ET). Torchbearers for this relay will be announced beginning in March 2015."
The event was very well attended by dignitaries including Minister of Sport Bal Gosal and Premier Kathleen Wynne, sponsor representatives, media and spectators in the main area and the balcony above.
The highlight of the event was the introduction of the first torchbearer who will launch the 2015 Pan Am torch relay: Colonel Chris Hadfield. (pun taken from the announcement - I can't take credit)
Colonel Hadfield proceeded to take a selfie with a young girl who couldn't decide whether to become an athlete or a politician - or perhaps an astronaut. I'd love to see this second selfie and photobomb.
The torch relay will begin on May 30th in Toronto and will end when it lights the cauldron at the Pan Am Opening Ceremony at Rogers Centre in Toronto. It will visit 5 major Canadian cities outside of Ontario and 130 communities throughout Ontario.
In Ontario, the torch will travel through 130 communities including:
- South/west to Leamington, Windsor, Chatham/Kent, Sarnia, London and Woodstock
- Northwest to Thunder Bay, Wawa and Sault Ste. Marie
- North to Sudbury, North Bay, Parry Sound, Huntsville, Gravenhurst, Orillia, Midland, Collingwood and Owen Sound.
- East to Ottawa, Smiths Falls, Kingston, Belleville and Brighton
- and the GTA:
"The flame for the Pan Am Games is traditionally lit outside Mexico City in Teotihuacan at the Pyramid of the Sun, in a ceremony led by native Aztecs. Following the lighting, the flame will be handed over to a representative from the Host City. The flame will then be flown back to Canada to begin its nationwide journey before arriving in Toronto to light the cauldron at Opening Ceremony, which signifies the start of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games."
You can sign up for the contest at one of the two touch screen terminals at the Eaton Centre until Sunday October 5th (up one floor from the fountain), just like Olympic gold medallist Rosie MacLennan did just before I did.
...or you can sign up online at the Pan Am Toronto 2015 website.
I can't finish this post without a photo of Pachi mingling and posing for photos with fans.
If you haven't requested Pan Am tickets yet, you may want to click here to read my previous post about my selection criteria for choosing which events to attend.