Gateway Gazette

Largest Ever Parapan Am Games Make History

 

Nearly 300 Parapan Am and America’s records broken

TORONTO — The largest Parapan Am Games in history are about to cross the finish line, but the legacy of the TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games will be felt for decades to come.

The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) estimates that between ticketed events, municipal activations and free PANAMANIA festivities, there were close to a quarter million visits to Games venues from August 7 to 15. After the first weekend of the Parapan Am Games, more than five million Canadians (14 per cent of the population) tuned in to watch the unprecedented coverage on CBC TV/ICI Radio-Canada.

Buoyed on by a large and enthusiastic home crowd, Team Canada had its best showing ever at a Parapan Am Games, winning 168 medals, including 50 gold. The team came second in the medal standings behind Brazil, the Host Country of next year’s Paralympic Games. Some of the biggest stars included Brazil’s Daniel Dias, known as the Michael Phelps of para-swimming, who won 8 gold medals. Nineteen-year-old Canadian swimmer Aurelie Rivard was the most decorated female athlete of the Games, winning 7 medals and smashing the world record in the 100 metre freestyle.

Other historic Parapan Am Games performances included:

  • Cuba’s Omara Durand clocked the fastest 100 metres ever by a female para-athlete and also broke the world record in the 200 metres.
  • Jarryd Wallace of the United States defended his 2011 Parapan Am gold medal in the 100 metres and did so in a world record time of 10.71 seconds.
  • Ten world records were set in track and field, swimming and powerlifting.
  • The debut of wheelchair rugby, sometimes called “murderball” saw rivals Canada and the United States showcase the sport in front of sold-out crowds.

“The TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games truly captivated and transformed our imaginations. Witnessing the athletes’ focus, determination and willpower inspired us to dream big and reach for new heights,” said Saäd Rafi, chief executive officer, TO2015. “The athletes defeated challenges and set new records, the crowd cheered loudly and proudly, and our community demonstrated that we embrace diversity and inclusion.”

With more than 300 medal events, the full stands and cheering crowds made the Parapan Am Games a once-in-a-lifetime experience for hundreds of athletes. By

the end of the day on August 15, TO2015 sold more than 90,000 tickets to the Parapan Am Games.

Other Games highlights

  • In the digital realm during the Parapan Am Games, TORONTO2015.org received more than 85,000 visitors and 230,000 page views every day. On Twitter, there were an average of 19 million daily impressions of the TO2015 hashtags, and Games-related Facebook posts reached more than 750,000 people.
  • PANAMANIA, presented by CIBC, continued to be a fan favourite. The arts and culture festival during the Parapan Am Games included concerts by Chromeo, The Roots, Janelle Monae and Jann Arden at PANAMANIA Live @ Nathan Phillips Square from August 7 to 12, plus additional events across the city.
  • The exclusive TORONTO 2015 merchandise collection for the Parapan Am Games proved popular as fans purchased many Parapan Am sport-specific apparel and pins.

Thank you to our TORONTO 2015 volunteers

These Games would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our enthusiastic volunteers and Chevrolet, the presenting sponsor of the TORONTO 2015 volunteer program. The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games saw one of the largest peacetime volunteer recruitments in Canadian history. Clad in their bright orange shirts, designed and manufactured by Joe Fresh, as part of Loblaw’s Premier Partnership with the Games, more than 23,000 friendly faces supported the Games at sport venues, the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletes’ Village, cultural events, official functions, Opening and Closing Ceremonies and other places across the Games footprint.

About TO2015

The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games took place July 10–26 and the Parapan American Games August 7–15. The TORONTO 2015 Games are funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, as well as Lead Partner CIBC and other partners and sponsors.

The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) is tasked with managing and delivering the Games. It has worked to bring some of the world’s best athletes and artists to Toronto and the Greater

Golden Horseshoe region, giving Ontarians a unique chance to be part of the action, and making the region a hub for sport.

For more information about the Games, please visit TORONTO2015.org or follow @TO2015, @TO2015_fr (French) or @TO2015_es (Spanish).

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