"We want the games" declare Canadian athletes

Three dozen athletes say yes to Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games Bid

TORONTO, Oct. 16 /CNW/ - Three dozen celebrated Canadian athletes brought their unique insights and experiences to today's Canadian Club of Toronto discussion about the benefits of hosting the Pan/Parapan American Games.

"Ontario has produced many great athletes - World Champions, Olympic Champions, World record holders and Pan American champions," said Marnie McBean, legendary Canadian rower and a three-time Olympic gold medalist, who was moderator of the discussion. "What we're missing in Ontario are community and amateur sport facilities, and venues suited to host high-performance athletes. The Pan American Games would help address these deficits if Toronto is chosen."

Athletes attending included cyclist Curt Harnett, gymnast (trampoline) Karen Cockburn and wheelchair basketball Paralympian Tracey Ferguson, and many other current and former national team members representing a variety of sports.

"When it comes down to it, the Games can contribute on so many levels," said Hon. David Peterson, Chair of the Toronto 2015 Bid for the Pan/Parapan American Games. "Hosting the 2015 Games in Toronto will have a long-term impact on our capacity for Canadian sport development, serving people in the local community and on our ability to contribute to the international sports community."

Reasons for Toronto hosting the Games was the topic discussed by a panel, which included: Peterson; Chris Rudge, CEO and Secretary General of the Canadian Olympic Committee and Alexandra Orlando, Canadian Rhythmic Gymnast, Olympian and Pan Am Games athlete.

The Pan Am Games are a major international multi-sport event, held every four years for athletes of the 42 PASO member nations. The Pan American Games consists of all Summer Olympic sports, plus other non-Olympic events, and serve as an Olympic-qualifier for a number of participating sports. The last edition of the games was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in July 2007 and the next is scheduled to take place in Guadalajara, Mexico in October 2011.

SOURCE Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

For further information: For further information: Liz Borowiec, Toronto 2015, (416) 326-4982

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