“Today is about bringing the excitement of the Toronto 2015 Games to all corners of the Greater Golden Horseshoe.”
Top Canadian athletes from a variety of summer Olympic and Paralympic sports took part in a celebration of sport and culture across southern Ontario on Wednesday (10 July) to mark the two-year countdown to the Toronto 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games.
Radiating out from Toronto, the host city of the Games, special events are took place in Ajax (baseball and softball), Caledon (equestrian), Hamilton (soccer), Markham (table tennis, badminton), Milton (cycling), Mississauga (taekwondo, judo, karate, wrestling, wheelchair rugby, goalball), Oshawa (boxing), St. Catharines (rowing) and Welland (canoe/kayak sprint).
“Today is about bringing the excitement of the Toronto 2015 Games to all corners of the Greater Golden Horseshoe,” said Ian Troop, chief executive officer of the Toronto Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organising Committee.
“Each community has put their own unique stamp on their event today, highlighting the sports they’re hosting and celebrating the features and talents of their hometowns they’re most proud of,” he added. “This is just the beginning of what the region will look like two years from today when we join together to stage the largest international multi-sport Games ever held in Canada.”
Wheelchair racer Josh Cassidy – a two-time Paralympian and winner of the 2010 London Marathon and 2012 Boston Marathon – was one of the athlete mentors who signed autographs and posed for photos in Toronto with members of the public at the event in Commerce Court.
Elsewhere in the region, Curt Harnett – Canada’s greatest track cyclist of all time and three-time Olympic medallist – led a cycling circuit around town hall in Milton, the future home of Canadian cycling, along with Shelley Gautier, Paralympian and 2011 Parapan Am Games silver medallist in para-cycling.
Also, members of Canada’s multiple-medal-winning wheelchair rugby team and up-and-coming taekwondo athletes led community festivities in Mississauga, home to four combative sports and three para-sports in 2015.