Olympic triathlon gold and silver medallist Simon Whitfield will play a leading role in the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games Torch Relay, it has been announced.
Whitfield, winner of the first-ever Olympic triathlon title in Sydney in 2000, joins the list of the first 10 Torchbearers to be confirmed, which also includes 2007 Pan American silver medallist Zsofia Balazs, as well as a Toronto police officer and a Canadian forces veteran.
The exact design of the 1.2 kilogram Torch, which incorporates "United We Play!" pictograms, symbolising the assembly of athletes through the celebration of sport and culture, with the distinctive orange and white Toronto 2015 branding was also unveiled.
"A torch relay is powerful and patriotic," Whitfield, winner of a Pan American Games bronze medal at Winnipeg in 1999, said.
"I'm looking forward to that moment as it truly is an honour to represent my community and Canada."
There will be more than 3,000 Torchbearers in total and each of them will carry the Torch for, on average, 200-metres during the 41-day route, which begins in Mexico before criss-crossing through Canada in time to officially open the Games at the Opening Ceremony on July 10.
The Torch itself will be 65 centimetres high and can withstand any potential weather difficulties, including 70 kilometres per hous winds, and it will be transported by as many as 60 different modes - 5,000 kilometres by road and 15,000 by air.
"The Torch is a unique symbol of the Pan Am Games and carries a powerful energy that will unite Canadians," Toronto 2015 chief executive Saäd Rafi said.
"The Torchbearers will proudly carry the flame through more than 130 communities, igniting the Pan Am spirit as they go."
Torchbearers have been selected by a number of different ways, including being chosen by sponsors and Games stakeholders, incorporating the 130 communities the Torch will pass through, and the rest will be decided by a competition.
A separate Torch Relay will take place prior to the start of the Parapan American Games on August 7.
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February 2015: Toronto 2015 confirm exact Torch Relay route ahead of Pan American Games