Woodstock’s Pan Am torch burns bright

London, ON, Canada / 106.9 The X
Woodstock's Pan Am torch burns bright

“Spectacular.”

That’s the one word Braydon Hoffman used to describe the surreal experience of lighting the Pan Am community torch in Woodstock.

As the wheelchair bound athlete and Woodstock native lit the community cauldron, its ignition was met with thunderous applause from a very supportive crowd.

The way Braydon’s face lit up as the crowd chanted his name unison, you could tell it was a very fulfilling moment for him.

It was a great day for celebration, despite the odd sprinkle of rain – bands, vendors, and attractions littered the community complex just outside of Woodstock’s Fanshawe campus.

Susan Cluett, Fanshawe’s Dean of Regional and Continuing education in Woodstock feels like the event thrived despite the weather – and she added that she was happy that Fanshawe could lend a hand in some way.

“Of course, our campus is right next door, so we’re neighbours and friends, and we’re just delighted to be sharing in the excitement of the torch relay,” Cluett said.

Nobody was more excited about it than Hoffman himself. As he raised the torch in triumph, it was clear that he was the star of the show.

The atmosphere was electric and energetic and with so many community members involved in the celebration, it was a great demonstration of togetherness in Woodstock.

The crowd was sure to let him know.

Cluett feels like the community could not be more proud of their native son.

“He’s just done a fine job representing the community and bringing the torch to the lighting of the cauldron here today,” Cluett said.

“Everyone in Woodstock is just so proud of his contribution.”

Not long after the lighting of the cauldron, the torches next bearer Janet Briggs hopped a float bearing two cow statues and made her way to the next relay.
The torch’s next stop is Tavistock, before making its way to Kitchener/Waterloo area by 7pm this evening.
If the celebration is anything like it was in London or Woodstock – Kitchener and Waterloo natives will be in for a treat.
The torch will be in Toronto by July 10th to ignite the start of the 17th Pan American Games.

 

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