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TO2015 Celebrates Two-Year Countdown To Pan Am And Parapan Am Games On Wednesday, July 10 With Top Canadian Summer Athletes

Community celebrations taking place in Toronto, Ajax, Caledon, Hamilton, Markham, Milton, Mississauga, Oshawa, St. Catharines and Welland
Ribbon cutting at Welland Pan Am Flatwater Centre – the first official opening of TORONTO 2015 Games venue

TORONTO – Celebrations marking the two-year countdown to the TORONTO 2015 Games will take place on Wednesday, July 10 in 10 communities throughout southern Ontario, kicking off a summer of celebrations for the largest international multi-sport competition in Canadian history.
In addition, the newly upgraded Welland Pan Am Flatwater Centre will hold its official ribbon cutting and inaugural race. The facility, which will be the first venue completed for the Games, recently underwent $10 million in upgrades to host the canoe sprint races in 2015. The improvements were jointly funded by the Government of Canada and the City of Welland.

A who’s who of Canadian athletes, such as Simon Whitfield, Mary Spencer, Curt Harnett, Mark Oldershaw, Mandy Bujold, Jason Burnett, Josh Cassidy, Kara Lang, Jessica Phoenix, Shelley Gautier and K.C. Fraser will be on hand at events in Toronto, Ajax, Caledon, Hamilton, Markham, Milton, Mississauga, Oshawa, St. Catharines and Welland.

The festivities, which are unique to each participating town and city, will also feature local entertainment, tasty treats from the Americas and Caribbean, sport skills workshops and impromptu games of the 36 Pan Am sports, such as volleyball, soccer and badminton. All events are free and open to the public.

In each of the 10 communities, a special mural, created by sports artist David Arrigo through the Pan Am Mural Experience, will be officially presented and displayed for the first time. The one-of-a-kind artworks capture the municipalities’ unique cultural and sporting history and will remain in the communities as permanent mementos of the Games.

Some of the highlights on July 10 include:

TORONTO
Top Ontario BMX bikers will soar and do aerial tricks on a closed-off street in the midst of downtown Toronto skyscrapers, while Olympic silver medallist Jason Burnett performs his award-winning trampoline routine in Commerce Court. Several notable Canadian athletes will also be on hand to mingle with the noontime crowds at the celebration.

Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Who: Simon Whitfield, four-time Olympian and Olympic gold and silver medallist in triathlon
Kara Lang, Olympian, Pan Am Games bronze medallist in soccer
Mary Spencer, Olympian and 2011 Pan Am Games gold medallist in boxing
Josh Cassidy, two-time Paralympian in wheelchair racing
Jason Burnett, Olympic silver medallist in trampoline
Jamoi Anderson, Team Canada sitting volleyball player
Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport)
Michael Chan, Ontario’s Minister for Tourism and Culture
Representative from the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation
Mamdouh Shoukri, President and Vice-Chancellor of York University
David Naylor, President of University of Toronto
Franco Vaccarino, Principal of University of Toronto (Scarborough)
Richard Nesbitt, CIBC’s Chief Operating Officer
Marcel Aubut, President, Canadian Olympic Committee (COC)
Gaétan Tardif, President, Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC)
Roger Garland, TO2015 Chairman of the Board
David Arrigo, artist for the Pan Am Mural Experience

Location: Commerce Court
25 King Street West
Toronto

OSHAWA
2011 Pan Am champions Mary Spencer and Mandy Bujold, the first women to ever win gold medals in boxing at an international multi-sport competition, will put up their dukes and spar in Oshawa, the home of the pugilistic profession in 2015.

Time: 10:00 a.m. to Noon (10:45 a.m. Spencer vs. Bujold)

Who: Mary Spencer, Olympian and 2011 Pan Am gold medallist in boxing
Mandy Bujold, 2011 Pan Am gold medallist in boxing
John Henry, Mayor of Oshawa
Joe Halstead, TO2015 board member

Location: Oshawa Civic Square (in front of Oshawa City Hall)
50 Centre Street South
Oshawa, ON

WELLAND
The inaugural race on the waters of the newly upgraded Welland Pan Am Flatwater Centre will pit Mark Oldershaw, 2012 Olympic bronze medallist in canoe (sprint), against K.C. Fraser, 2011 Pan Am gold medallist in kayak (sprint).

Time: Noon to 4:00 p.m. (Inaugural race at 2:15 p.m., ribbon-cutting ceremony 2:30 p.m.)

Who: Mark Oldershaw, 2012 Olympic bronze medallist in canoe (sprint)
K.C. Fraser, 2011 Pan Am gold medallist in kayak (sprint)
Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport)
Michael Chan, Ontario’s Minister for Tourism and Culture
Barry Sharpe, Mayor of Welland
Marcel Aubut, President, Canadian Olympic Committee (COC)
Ian Troop, TO2015 Chief Executive Officer

Location: Welland Pan Am Flatwater Centre
16 Townline Tunnel Road (58A) at Canalbank Street
Welland, ON

MARKHAM
Sun Jian Fei, a professional table tennis player, former Chinese national team member and the highest-rated OX long pips user in the world, will dazzle the crowds in Markham with his fast moving blades. The city will be the site of the largest of the Pan Am two-year celebrations, with CBC Sports Weekend’s Scott Russell hosting the kid-friendly event showcasing Markham’s love of badminton and table tennis.

Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Ceremony at 6:00 p.m., with table tennis demonstration by Sun Jian Fei at 6:30 p.m.)

Who: Sun Jian Fei, professional table tennis player and former China national team member
Scott Russell, CBC Sports Weekend host
Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport)
Michael Chan, Ontario’s Minister for Tourism and Culture
Frank Scarpitti, Mayor of Markham
Marcel Aubut, President, Canadian Olympic Committee (COC)
Ian Troop TO2015, Chief Executive Officer

Location: Markham Civic Centre
101 Town Centre Boulevard
Markham, ON

For a full list of the July 10 two-year countdown community celebrations, as well as details on times and athletes attending, please visit TORONTO2015.org. Events are subject to change.

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 For further information, please contact:

Teddy Katz
Director, Media Relations and Chief Spokesperson, TO2015
C: 647.404.5263
teddy.katz@toronto2015.org

Canadian Olympic Committee Media Office:

Luc Beaudin, Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations
Cell: 514-206-6720
Email: lbeaudin@olympic.ca

Jane Almeida, Manager, Media Relations
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Email: jalmeida@olympic.ca

Dimitri Soudas, Executive Director, Communications
Tel: 416-324-4136/ Cell. : 289-388-6419
Email: dsoudas@olympic.ca

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