Thursday, October 13, 2011

¡Fiesta de las Americas!

In four years time, Canada will be hosting the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The local organizing committee, Toronto2015, is already hard at work preparing the venues and logistics for this immense event. Canada has hosted the Pan American Games twice—both times in Winnipeg (1967, 1999).

Photo credit: Mike Ridewood / COC 
But in just 24 hours time, the 2011Pan American Games will begin in Guadalajara, Mexico, the city referred to as the “Pearl of the West”, and known for its’ culture, theatre and museums.  This is the third time Mexico has hosted these Games, making them the first country to three-peat (1955 and 1975 were the first two times). The 2011 Games with their motto Fiesta de las Americas (The Americas' Party), will be the largest multi-sport event of this year’s sports calendar, with approximately 6,000 athletes from 42 nations expected to participate in 361 events in 36 sports.  Fifteen of the 26 Summer Olympic sports will use the 2011 Pan American Games as a qualifier for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, including handball, canoeing and modern pentathlon to name just a few.

Team Canada is made up of 493 athletes (257 men and 236 women), with all ten provinces and the Northwest Territories represented. The youngest Canadian athlete is Table Tennis player Anqi Luo of Mississauga, Ontario (age 15), and the oldest will be Equestrian veteran, Ian Millar of Perth, Ontario (age 64).

The 2011 Pan American Games will be held from October 14 – 30, with the Parapan American Games (the multi-sport event for athletes with a physical disability) starting on November 12. 

The first Pan American Games took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1951.

For more information on multi-sport events, please visit SIRC.

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