Largest Ever Parapan Am Games Make History

Nearly 300 Parapan Am and America's records broken

TORONTO, Aug. 15, 2015 /CNW/ - 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, 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 or follow @TO2015, @TO2015_fr (French) or @TO2015_es (Spanish).

Quote Sheet:

Premier Kathleen Wynne, Province of Ontario
"This summer's TORONTO 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games were a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Ontario, Team Canada and the all athletes who took part. After the massive success of the Pan Am Games, we kept the momentum going with the Parapan Am Games. These Parapan Am Games were the most accessible Games ever, and included extensive live coverage that made them the most widely broadcast Parapan Am Games in Canadian history. As we pass the torch to Lima, Peru, and enjoy the Games legacy here in Ontario, we will cherish memories of exciting competition, incredible athleticism and proud celebrations across our province. Congratulations to all the inspiring Parapan Am athletes, and thank you to the entire TO2015 team, volunteers, spectators and participants!"

Mayor John Tory, City of Toronto
"We are proud to have hosted the largest Parapan Am Games in history. The Parapan Am Games were truly a spectacular show of courage, of athletic prowess, of the power of competition and determination. With the close of these Games, a new generation of future athletes have been inspired. Thank you to the athletes, volunteers, visitors, residents, businesses and the Games partners who embraced the Games and have shown the world what our great city has to offer." 

Chief Bryan LaForme, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation      
"Aanii, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation were thrilled to be the first ever Host First Nation of the Parapan Am Games. Canada was the first country to acknowledge the importance of its indigenous peoples to this major sporting event. We hope that by recognizing the ongoing relationship First Nations share with their traditional territories, Canada has opened the door for other countries to honour the rights of their own indigenous peoples. We applaud the 1,600 athletes who participated in 15 sports. It took courage and unimaginable hard work to get here. I would also like to acknowledge the staff and the huge number of volunteers for their efforts. Without your time and dedication it would have been difficult to organize and run such a successful event."

José Luis Campo, President, Americas Paralympic Committee
"These have been brilliant Games in Toronto. The number of world, Americas and Games records speak for themselves and underline how much the athletes have felt at home here performing in excellent first-class facilities. The Toronto 2015 Organizing Committee has raised the bar and set new standards for all future Parapan Games organizers, and helped take the Americas Paralympic Movement to new levels ahead of a very important period for us with the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games fast approaching. These Games will not only leave a great legacy here in Toronto but also in all 28 of the competing countries, some of which have won their first ever Parapan Am medals. The depth of talent in all 15 sports has been extremely pleasing as has the fact that athletes have continued to push the boundaries of possibility."

Laura Dottori-Attanasio, Chief Risk Officer and Diversity and Inclusion Champion at CIBC, Lead Partner of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games and a Premier Partner of the Canadian Parapan Am Team
"Congratulations to the TO2015 organizing committee and all the volunteers for bringing us such #PanAmazing Games! And to the athletes, we salute your inspirational performances and for reminding us that anything is possible with hard work and determination. CIBC is honoured to have helped bring these Games to life, and while they have drawn to a close, the legacy of the TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games in challenging our perceptions about disabilities will remain."

SOURCE Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

For further information: Main Press Centre: or 416.957.3414; Media team: or 416.957.3409

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Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

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