Paralympic medallists, rock singers, and hockey players will help carry the torch as two Parapan Am flames cross the province’s waterfront for a five-day torch relay beginning Aug. 3.
Starting at opposite ends of Southern Ontario, the two flames will be carried by more than 250 torchbearers before arriving in Toronto for the Aug. 7 opening ceremonies.
“I just cannot emphasize enough the fierce talent and competition we are going to see,” Toronto 2015 CEO Saad Rafi said. “It is worthy of filled houses of spectators and cheering fans just as we’ve seen for the Pan Am Games. These athletes deserve nothing less.”
Ticket sales for the games are approaching 50,000 of the 200,000 available, organizers announced Tuesday.
Swimmer Chelsey Gotell, who won gold in the Beijing and Athens Paralympics will carry the flame when it arrives in Toronto on Aug. 5. Arizona Coyotes defenceman Derek Smith will carry the flame in his hometown of Belleville. And four-time paralympic swimmer and Team Canada’s chef de mission for the Parapan Ams, Elisabeth Walker-Young, will also hoist the flame.
The flame will cover 700 kilometres and visit 12 communities before arriving at York University’s new athletics stadium for the games’ opening ceremonies.
With more than 1,600 athletes from 28 nations, organizers are billing Toronto’s Parapan Am Games as the largest in history.