Toronto, Canada retailer Hudson's Bay unveiled the official Team Canada Collection for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.
Fourteen athletes, including para-swimmers Benoit Huot and Camille Berube, wheelchair rugby’s Cody Caldwell and Patrice Dagenais, para-athletics’ Leah Robinson and wheelchair basketball’s Melanie Hawtin, took to the stage at the Glenn Gould Studio to present a first look at the uniforms Team Canada will wear during the Parapan Am Games (7-15 August).
"It was incredibly exciting to be part of the launch (last week) of the new line up of team clothing for the Toronto Games," said Hawtin, a 2014 world champion wheelchair basketball player and Parapan Am Games hopeful.
"Having a sea of Canadian fans wearing red and white to cheer us on while we wear the maple leaf will be such a proud and thrilling feeling."
Inspired by the 50-year anniversary of the Canadian flag, Hudson's Bay's design team used the maple leaf as the starting point for the graphics showcased throughout the collection. Each of the 22 pieces is reminiscent of classic varsity sport, while at the same time are a modern nod toward the current athleisure trend in fashion.
"Hudson's Bay has dressed Team Canada for these Games since 2007 and we remain committed to supporting our athletes,” Liz Rodbell, President of Hudson's Bay.
The Pan Am athletes will also find the words "En Garde" in the lining of several items in their clothing package. This added element was championed by Pan Am Chef de Mission Curt Harnett to provide the athletes with a strong call to action as they put on their uniforms. The idea originated at the Guadalajara 2011 Pan Am Games, where Harnett, who was Assistant Chef de Mission at the time, and Chef de Mission Jacques Cardyn created a rally cry for Team Canada. Originally a fencing term, "En Garde" means taking the opening position for action, to be prepared and ready.
"Having competed in multiple Games myself, I know it's important to look and feel your best and this kit is going to give our athletes some added swagger as they compete against the Americas on home soil," Harnett said.
There will be approximately 250 para-athletes competing for Team Canada in the Parapan Am Games. Each team member will receive 18 garments and four accessories, consisting of two jackets, two pants, seven t-shirts/tanks, one polo, four shorts, one half-zip pull-over, one hoodie, a rolling duffle, backpack, rally scarf and hat. This will outfit them for the opening and closing ceremonies, during podium presentations and while simply hanging out in the athlete village.
Tickets are now available for Toronto 2015. For more information, visit the event website.