Busy August ahead with nine national, international competitions in sports such as gymnastics, waterskiing, baseball and rowing
TORONTO, July 30, 2014 /CNW/ - The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games are now just 11 months away and preparations are reaching new heights with top athletes preparing for nine sport test events coming to Ontario in August — the most of any month leading up to the Games.
Jason McClintock, a world champion waterskier and Canadian record holder, will be among the hundreds of Canadian and international athletes coming to the Games region to compete in baseball (Ajax), gymnastics (Mississauga), rowing (St. Catharines), modern pentathlon (Guelph and Moffat), goalball (Mississauga), canoe slalom (Minden Hills) and waterskiing (King Township) over the next four weeks.
"I'm excited to perform so close to home at the Canadian Waterski Championships," said McClintock, a Pan Am hopeful and member of the world-famous McClintock waterskiing family from Cambridge, ON.
"As a test event for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games, the nationals are a great opportunity for people to get a sneak peek at our Canadian national team and future talent," he continued. "The Games are huge for our sport, and I'm focused on being prepared to make Canada proud on home soil next summer!"
The August events, which start with the Canadian Modern Pentathlon Championships and Royal Canadian Henley Regatta this weekend, are part of a sport tourism boom the Games are fuelling in Ontario.
In total, the Games are helping bring more than 40 national and international championships and 12,000 athletes to 16 Ontario towns and cities from May 2014 to May 2015. For more information on upcoming events, visit TORONTO2015.org/test-events.
"These top competitions are the perfect opportunity for sports fans and community members interested in the Games to get to know the sports and the athletes hoping to represent their country at our Games next summer," said Saäd Rafi, chief executive officer of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015).
"To date, the competitions have been incredibly fierce, the athletes have put on tremendous performances and the communities and spectators have been wildly supportive and excited — and I expect more of the same in August. I invite everyone to come out and enjoy."
The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport), added: "These competitions will give our Canadian athletes the opportunity to compete on home soil in front of enthusiastic fans to help build momentum as they prepare to take on the very best from the Americas next summer."
"Ontario is proud to support high performance sport and showcase the province that is quickly becoming a world-class destination for international sport hosting," said Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport and Minister Responsible for the Pan/Parapan Am Games. "I encourage everyone to cheer on our athletes as they compete at the highest levels of their sport on home soil this summer and during the 2015 Games."
The August competitions follow three months of successful test events — 13 in total — that have given athletes, spectators and officials a taste of what can be expected at the Games in 2015.
Some of the memorable performances include Canada's gold-medal finish at the 2014 Women's Wheelchair Basketball Championship in Toronto; Mexico's Paolo Longoria's successful defence of her women's singles title at the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships in Burlington; and dazzling performances by Dallas Soonias and Kyla Richey at the NORCECA World Championship Qualification Tournaments in Mississauga, which ensures that Team Canada's men's and women's volleyball teams will both compete at the worlds this fall.
Of the 40-plus competitions, all but two are owned and managed by their respective National Sport Organizations, with additional financial support provided by TO2015 to help bring or keep the events in Ontario.
The Organizing Committee is using the events to test a variety of operational areas, such as athlete transportation, accessibility, overlay, timing and scoring, field of play and volunteer services. The testing is crucial to ensure athletes can perform at their best in 2015.
The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) is tasked with managing and delivering the Games. It is working to bring some of the world's best athletes and artists to the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, giving Ontarians a unique chance to be part of the action, and making the region a hub for sport.
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 American Games will take place July 10–26 and the Parapan American Games August 7–15.
For more information about the Games, please visit TORONTO2015.org.
SOURCE: Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games
For further information: Teddy Katz, Director, media relations and chief spokesperson, TO2015, 416.957.2117, [email protected]