More than 80 records were broken
TORONTO, July 26, 2015 /CNW/ - The largest-ever international multi-sport Games in Canada's history is about to come to a close, but the impact of the TORONTO 2015 Pan 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 around two million visits to the Games over the last two weeks.
Team Canada made a historic showing on home soil, setting a national record for gold medals won at a Pan Am Games, having won 77 so far. The team came second in the medal standings — the best showing for Canada at any Pan Am Games.
Other historic Pan Am Games firsts include:
- The highest level of participation ever by female athletes at more than 45 per cent.
- The debut of women's baseball, women's canoe sprint, women's rugby sevens, canoe/kayak – slalom and golf on the sport competition program, and the return of men's softball.
- Athletes smashed more than 80 Pan Am records.
- Brazilian swimmer Thiago Pereira raised the bar, becoming the winningest athlete in Pan Am Games history (he has earned 23 in total, but won five in Toronto).
- Saint Lucia won its first-ever Pan Am gold medal, which was in track and field.
- Canada's women's basketball team took home its first ever gold medal.
"I've always known the TORONTO 2015 Games would be phenomenal and they have far exceeded even my wildest expectations; the outcome has been just amazing," said Saäd Rafi, TO2015 chief executive officer. "The athletes thrilled us, Canadians absolutely embraced their home Games, and our communities were so welcoming to the athletes and visitors. Every person not just in this region, but in this country, should be proud of what we just achieved, together."
With about 120 sold-out Pan Am events, the full stands and cheering crowds made the Games a once-in-a-lifetime experience for hundreds of athletes. By the end of the day on July 26, TO2015 will have sold 1,050,000 of the 1.3 million tickets available for purchase to the Pan Am Games — the equivalent of selling out a Toronto Maple Leafs home game more than 55 times. Two-hundred thousand tickets are available for purchase to the Parapan Am Games.
Other Games Highlights
- In the digital space, TORONTO2015.org received more than one million visitors and eight million page views every day. On Twitter, there were 220 million average daily impressions of the TO2015 hashtags, and Games-related Facebook posts reached more than 5.5 million people.
- The Games also 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.
- PANAMANIA, presented by CIBC, was a fan favourite. The 35-day arts and culture festival continues through August 15, with great acts including Chromeo, The Roots and Janelle Monae at PANAMANIA Live @ Nathan Phillips Square from August 7 to 12 plus additional events across the city.
- TORONTO 2015 merchandise can be seen everywhere thanks to strong sales throughout the Greater Toronto Area, including the Superstore at Nathan Phillips Square, which will stay open through the Parapan Am Games. PACHI was the star of the show with more than 100,000 PACHI plush products sold!
The federal government, provincial government, 16 municipal governments, a host First Nation — the Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation — as well as two universities came together to support the Games and secure its legacy. Also supporting the Games were 87 corporate partners contributing a total of $170 million in value, by far the largest partner program in Pan Am Games history. Highlights included:
- Lead Partner CIBC was the presenting sponsor of PANAMANIA, the Lead Partner of PrideHouseTO and significantly added to the spectator experience by distributing more than 260,000 giveaways to visitors at Games venues.
- 1,200 Chevrolet vehicles were on the move during the Games. Chevrolet was also proud to be the presenting sponsor of the volunteer program. At CIBC Pan Am Park, Chevrolet set a Guinness World Record for the most people generating electricity in one week.
- Over 60,000 selfie postcards were sent from the Cisco TORONTO 2015 Countdown Clock and secondary kiosks, and visitors accessed 1.684 million hours of FreeWiFiByCisco, equalling more than 192 years of continuous wireless access.
- The OLG All for Here Challenge had close to 15,000 participants test out their virtual sports skills.
- Almost 20,000 people felt the magic of the TORONTO 2015 competition medals, which were on display courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mint.
- Loblaw fed athletes 140,000 bananas, 100,000 chicken breasts, 50,000 steaks and 20,000 muffins at the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletes' Village
There is much more world-class sport competition in store for the Greater Toronto Area this summer. The largest Parapan Am Games ever begins Friday, August 7, and runs through Saturday, August 15. All 15 sports are Paralympic qualifiers for Rio 2016. Don't miss these fierce competitors, and buy your tickets now at TORONTO2015.org/tickets.
Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport), Government of Canada
"The past 16 days have been a remarkable celebration of sport through the outstanding performances of our Canadian athletes and those from across the Americas. The legacy of these Games will be not only in the many state-of-the-art sport venues left behind, but also in the wonderful memories of sport, culture and camaraderie that have been etched during these Games. Congratulations to all the athletes, coaches, volunteers and fans who have truly made the TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games a signature event during the Year of Sport in Canada."
Premier Kathleen Wynne, Province of Ontario
"These past two weeks have been absolutely incredible for our province, Team Canada, and all the inspiring athletes competing in this once-in-a-lifetime event. The Pan Am Games delivered thrilling competition, vibrant cultural events and proud celebrations across Ontario. As we pass the torch to Lima, Peru, we will cherish memories of triumph and sportsmanship, enjoy the Games legacy here in Ontario and excitedly anticipate the upcoming Parapan Am Games. Congratulations to all the Pan Am athletes, and thank you to the entire TO2015 team, volunteers, spectators and participants for making these the best Games ever!"
Mayor John Tory, City of Toronto
"The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games have been a great success and the unforgettable acts of athletic achievement and the cultural celebrations across the city will live on for generations. The Games' legacy has reached beyond sport with the development of new neighbourhoods like the West Don Lands, home to the Athletes' Village, the revitalized waterfront and the Union-Pearson Express to the airport. The momentum of the Pan Am Games will surely continue for the Parapan Am Games when they start in a few weeks."
Chief Bryan LaForme, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation
"It's been an honour and a privilege for the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation to be the first ever Host First Nation at a Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. Our theme throughout has been "Embrace the Spirit". Hosting 41 countries on our traditional territory has enabled us to do just that by sharing our culture and developing kinship and building friendships. Friendships and understanding that will flourish beyond these games". Miigwech (thank you)"
Dr. Julio C. Maglione, President of the Pan American Sports Organization
"The Pan American Sports Organization, its member National Olympic Committees and the athletes of our continent anticipated with great enthusiasm the XVII Pan American Games in Toronto. Our expectations were high and I should say these were met. Beautiful venues that showcased our athletes' wonderful performances and warm audiences that welcomed each and every one of us wherever we went. On behalf of PASO, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to all parties involved in the staging of these great Games, which not only delighted us with top level athletic competitions, but also with cultural events that gave a very special flavor to the event. We appreciated very much the hospitality of the people of Toronto, who were always warm, kind and supportive of the Games. The wonderful volunteers undertook their tasks with joy, passion and commitment and we are very grateful for that. Congratulations and thank you, Toronto, for delivering the best Pan American Games ever!"
Stephen Forbes, Executive Vice-President, CIBC, Lead Partner of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games
"What a #PanAmazing Games! Congratulations to the TO2015 organizing committee, all the volunteers and especially the athletes for bringing us an exciting and inspiring event that united us in passion and celebration. CIBC is so honoured to have helped bring these Games to life, and while the cauldron may be extinguished, the legacy of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games will remain."
SOURCE Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games