Rowing legend Marnie McBean and up-and-coming athletes take part in
Internationally renowned course to host 14 medal events
ST. CATHARINES, ON, Nov. 15, 2013 /CNW/ - The home of North America's
largest rowing regatta is where Canada's best rowers will race towards
a photo finish at the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games, officials confirmed
"For more than a century, the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta has fostered
rowing in this country, as well as the development of our young
athletes," said Ian Troop, chief executive officer of the TORONTO 2015
Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015).
"Being here is a reminder of the ingenuity, pride and tenacity of those
early pioneering athletes and supporters," he continued. "In 2015,
we'll build on that heritage. The Pan Am Games promise to create some
truly exciting and historical moments, with Canadian rowers poised to
reach the podium."
Forty-two Pan Am medals will be awarded over five days of competition in
July 2015 on Martindale Pond, which has previously hosted the 1970 and
1999 World Rowing Championships, as well as the prestigious annual
Royal Canadian Henley Regatta since 1903. The regatta is regularly held
Canadian rowing superstar Marnie McBean, a three-time Olympic gold
medallist, Pan Am gold medallist and world champion, took part in the
announcement today, along with Team Canada women's development program
coach Michelle Darvill and up-and-coming Canadian rowers Eric Woelfl
and Kate Goodfellow.
Woelfl, who hails from St. Catharines, competed at the 2011 Pan Am Games
in Mexico while Darvill, an Olympian and world champion, has coached
teams at the 2011 and 2007 Pan Am Games. A former under-23 world
champion, Goodfellow recently won silver at the 2013 World Rowing
Championships in quadruple sculls.
In 2015, Rowing Canada Aviron is committed to sending its best team to
the Pan Am Games — matching what it did in 1999 when Canada last hosted
the multi-sport Games in Winnipeg.
"Competing on home soil and winning gold at the 1999 Games was a special
moment for me," said McBean, who was one of three Canadian rowers who
took home gold from those Games.
"There aren't a lot of opportunities for Canadian summer athletes to
compete internationally at home," she said. "That's why the TORONTO
2015 Pan Am Games will be so special for our up-and-coming rowers. It
will be an invaluable experience for them as they prepare for the Rio
2016 Olympics. I'm planning to be here cheering them on!"
Rated as a world-class rowing course by the International Rowing
Federation (FISA), the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Centre will host 14
men's and women's competitions in several disciplines, such as single,
double and quadruple sculls; coxless pair and four; and eight with
Along with TO2015 formally confirming the rowing venue today, the
Government of Canada and the City of St. Catharines announced they are
jointly funding the renovation of the sole bridge linking the rowing
facility to the mainland.
"Rowing is one of the sports in which Canada has been most successful in
winning medals, and this renowned facility will allow us to see our
best rowing talents in action," said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister
of State (Sport). "Our Government is proud to support the TORONTO 2015
Pan Am/Parapan Am Games and provide an opportunity for Canadians to
witness the endurance skills of top rowers from throughout the Americas
and to cheer on Canada. Our investment at this historic course will
leave a lasting sporting legacy here in St. Catharines and Canada."
The Pan Am competition in St. Catharines is expected to feature strong
teams from Argentina, United States, Cuba, Mexico and Chile, all of
whom have racked up a number of medals in recent years.
"I am very proud that the home of one of Canada's oldest sports
competitions has been chosen as the official rowing venue for the 2015
Pan Am Games," added Rick Dykstra, Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Member of Parliament (St.
Catharines). "Long after these Games have ended, the legacy of this
world-class facility will be enjoyed by our community and local
athletes, and will help develop tomorrow's hopefuls."
At the 2011 Pan Am Games, Canada's rowing team won four medals — a feat
they aim to surpass on home water. In fact, the Canadian Olympic
Committee has set a goal to finish in the top two nations in the
overall medal count in 2015.
"Canada has a long established reputation of rowing excellence," said
Michael Chan, Minister Responsible for the Pan/Parapan Games.
"Facilities like the Royal Canadian Henley continue that proud
tradition and the 2015 Games will be a great opportunity to showcase
our talented athletes while inspiring the next generation of greats who
will continue to represent the province and the nation in the
international arena for years to come."
The Honourable Jim Bradley, MPP St. Catharines, Minister of the
"It's quite an honour for our city to be hosting the 2015 Pan Am Games'
rowing competitions. We'll all be able to cheer on the top-notch
"We are incredibly proud that St. Catharines is part of the 2015 Pan Am
Games and that Canada's best rowers are coming to our community to
compete," said Mayor Brian McMullan, City of St. Catharines. "The Royal
Canadian Henley has long been the perfect showcase for what our city
has to offer as a sport tourism destination."
The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015)
is tasked with the responsibility of planning, managing and delivering
the Games. Its mission is to ignite the spirit through a celebration of
sport and culture. The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games will take place
July 10−26 and the Parapan American Games August 7-14.
The 2015 Games are funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of
Ontario, as well as other partners and sponsors. CIBC is the Lead
Partner of the Games.
For more information about the Games, please visit TORONTO2015.org.
SOURCE: Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games
For further information:
Director, media relations and chief spokesperson, TO2015