Games Summary:

Toronto was awarded the 2015 Pan American Games on November 6, 2009, defeating bids from Lima, Peru and Bogota, Colombia. This gave the province of Ontario its first international multi-sport competition since the 1930 British Empire Games in Hamilton. The 2015 Pan Am Games featured 36 sports with 51 disciplines and 364 medal events, more than is currently on the Olympic program.

Daily Recaps

Although centered in Toronto, the Pan Am Games involved numerous municipalities in southern Ontario, with venues stretching around the Golden Horseshoe from Welland and St. Catharines in the west to Oshawa in the east and as far north as Barrie and Minden Hills.

List of TO2015 venues

While the 2015 Pan Am Games utilized many existing facilities, some new venues were also constructed and are intended to have longterm benefit for future Olympic athletes. As an example, the Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatics Centre and Field House gives Toronto a world class 50m pool and a diving tank. The Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome is just the second indoor velodrome in North America to meet current top international standards, providing a much-needed home training base for Canadian track cyclists.

HISTORY OF THE PAN AMERICAN GAMES

The Pan American Games are a continental multi-sport competition for the countries of North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean. Held one year prior to a summer Olympic Games, the Pan American Games include all of the sports and disciplines featured on the Olympic program as well as some additional sports governed by international federations that are recognized by the IOC. They are the world’s third-largest multi-sport Games, surpassed only in size by the summer Olympic Games and the Asian Games.

Team Canada at TO2015 Athlete List

Held every four years, the first Pan American Games were hosted in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1951, but the idea of the Games dates back two decades earlier.

In 1926, following a proposal by IOC members from Cuba, Guatemala and Mexico, the first Central American Games were held. At the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, representatives of those Latin American delegations proposed regional Games for the Americas. That led to the Pan American Sports Congress in Buenos Aires in 1940 which selected the city to host the first Pan American Games in 1942. Those plans had to be postponed due to World War II. A second Pan American Sports Congress met in London during the 1948 Olympic Games and confirmed Buenos Aires as the host for the inaugural Pan American Games, which opened on February 25, 1951 with more than 2500 athletes from 22 countries.

For more than 60 years the Pan American Games have been held in cities in every corner of the continent, from Winnipeg (1967, 1999) in the north to Mar del Plata, Argentina (1995) in the south. In 2015 Toronto will become the 15th city in 10 countries to host the Games. Canada joins Mexico as the only countries to host the Games three times.

Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games medals.

Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games medals.

PAN AMERICAN SPORTS ORGANIZATION

The Pan American Games are governed by the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO), which today includes 41 member National Olympic Committees and has English and Spanish as its official languages. Headquartered in Mexico, PASO’s emblem is a torch superimposed over five concentric circles, coloured yellow, green, white, red and blue, at least one of which appears on every national flag in the Americas. PASO’s motto – “America, Espirito, Sport, Fraternité” – incorporates four of the languages in common use in the Americas: Spanish, Portugese, English and French.

CANADA AT THE PAN AMERICAN GAMES

Canada has participated in every Pan American Games except the first. At the time, countries of the Commonwealth did not participate in the Pan American Sports Congress which established the Games. Canada previously hosted the fifth and 13th editions of the Games, both times in Winnipeg, in 1967 and 1999.