Rappelling in Skydome

Ivan Kristoff for Panasonic

PanasoniclaptopPanasonic Canada Inc. hires Ivan Kristoff for the Launch Product for the very first wireless remote monitor

In 2001, Ivan Kristoff discussed new promotional opportunities for Panasonic utilizing the innovative concepts and projects of his company.  Kristoff had already provided exclusive product placement of mobile laptops on the cover pages of “Quebec Micro”, “Toronto Computes” and “Computer Player”, and other publications, which have reached millions of readers across Canada. As a result,  Panasonic Canada Inc. featured Ivan’s use of Panasonic TOUGHBOOK during the Trade Show of the Chief of Police Association, where he showcased his expertise by using TOUGHBOOK Notebook as the perfect computing solution (at that time) for the environment in which he operates– emergency response in high-rise buildings, aerial work, vertical operations, and other inaccessible places.

panasonic220Furthermore, Ivan’s use of Panasonic’s technology for data and image transfers in inaccessible places was showcased to validate the value propositions of rugged notebooks for demanding applications, including field service, public safety, and emergency services. Specific applications in which Ivan Kristoff utilize his mobile computing  include: Aerial Emergency Response and Rescue, Helicopter Access and Operations, Tower, Wall Inspections, Photographic and Video Surveys. For this reason, Ivan Kristoff was hired by Panasonic Canada Inc. to participate in the 2001 Annual Conference of The International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Spiderman in the SkydomeAt extreme heights, allowed only for the chosen one to be the very first there, who have battle-proven success on the unreachable places of the World’s Tallest and created many World’s First in the vertical world, through the most dangerous jobs ever, this is what clients – that have no interest in any regular rope access technicians are paying big money for,

Just after the events of 9/11, Ivan was chosen by the Toronto’s community as one of its Unsung Heroes. This year he was given the honor to open officially the CFL Playoff  game between the Toronto Argonauts and Montreal Alouettes.  With the Panasonic mobile computing system, he rappel down  from the roof of the Rogers Centre,  previously known as the SkyDome. At the approximately the same place, a few years before that,  died a stuntman, while trying to test a Tyrolean traverse system. Here is the story:

1995 – July 9th – A worker dies when installing lights for a computer show (falling 25 feet)

1996 – Sept. 21 – Stuntman dies after SkyDome fall: An experienced stuntman who plummeted 10 storeys to the floor of SkyDome failed to make a complete check of his equipment before the fatal fall, the stunt organizer said Saturday.’ s’ –  Canadian News Digest

Rope Access RescueThese are the news about the tragic accidents that occurred at the SkyDome in Toronto.  A few years late I was requested by a client to promote the very first mobile wireless computer in the world. I expected to be a big challenge to convince the event organizers, the management of the Toronto Argounauts and the owners of the building to do a ropework acrobatic show, because of the above mentioned fatal falls. In this case my name worked for me. It’s true what they say about your name: “Your work 10 years for you name, then it works for you”.

For the opening of the game of Toronto Argonauts vs. Montreal Alouettes, I had to rappel down from the roof of the stadium with the mobile touch-screen monitor in my left hand, pause at 250 feet, write “Welcome to…”, which would be displayed on the big Jumbothron screen in front of the 20 thousand people crowd and millions watching on TV, continue to rappel down safely and give the ball to the players.  I was even asked by the Operational Manager of Skydome, to lower my rope slowly, so not to scare the people… Yeah, right. I had different plans.

I measured my ropes to hang a few meters off the ground. I wanted to freak out the Operational Manager and to entertain the crowd, who would wander how I can land with a short rope… After I heard the Canadian national autumn and my name on the loud speakers, I threw my ropes (tangled in a yellow bag), which untangled on the way down. Suddenly, the whole stadium was silenced for a few moments and I heard down some screams and cheering. Either they thought that something or somebody felt down, or they were to excited of the surprise. This was just a few weeks after 9/11 and people were easy to be scared. I wanted to surprise them more by scaling upside down. We grabbed their attention on the big screen, and in inverted position I descended very fast with my head down. As I was “falling” I was circling my legs, waving my hands, looking downward and just before the end of the rope I paused… the rope extended form my weight and acceleration and just before I hit the ground, I inverted my position , stood on both legs and handled the ball to the Argonaut’s players. The crowd went crazy.


Ivan Kristoff’s performance at the Skydome