Closing Ceremony Serves as Victory Celebration for Historic Games
TORONTO, Aug. 15, 2015 /CNW/ - The Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games came to a close tonight, as thousands of people – athletes, coaches, volunteers, officials and fans – gathered to celebrate the largest Parapan Am Games ever.
The ceremony took place at Nathan Philips Square, which throughout the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games has been home to the wildly popular PANAMANIA festival. The square, which is located in the heart of downtown Toronto, held nightly concerts and the fan-favourite nightly fireworks and famous 3D "TORONTO" sign.
Tonight, the square was transformed for the heroes of the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games: the athletes. For eight days, they have shown us their incredible athleticism, strength and heart. Tonight, TO2015 showed them our gratitude as we extinguished the cauldron and closed the Games with a fitting send off.
"In the past week we've seen athletes from across the Americas demonstrate incredible courage, strength and athleticism – thrilling and inspiring fans," said Saäd Rafi, chief executive officer, TO2015. "Tonight is about celebrating and thanking these athletes as well as the people of the region who supported these Games, which will leave a legacy of not only sport, but diversity and inclusion, which will be felt for generations to come."
These efforts were showcased on eight screens surrounding the square in a video featuring highlights from the eight amazing days of competition at the TORONTO 2015 Parapan American Games.
The celebration included performances from Grammy award-winner Wyclef Jean, country music singer-songwriter Meghan Patrick, who hails from Bowmanville, ON, and the franco-Ontarian urban folk band Le Group Swing.
To formally mark the end of the Games, Toronto Mayor John Tory, Americas Paralympic Committee President José Luis Campo, and Mayor Luis Castañeda Lossio of Lima, Peru, the host city of the 2019 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, took part in the traditional handover ceremony of the Parapan American flag -- a symbolic passing of the Games to the next Host City.
The end of tonight's ceremonies brought an amazing fireworks finale, which filled Toronto's skyline, set to the Song of Games and creating a memorable image that Toronto — and the world — will hold for years to come. It is an emotional close to the TORONTO 2015 Parapan American Games.
The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games took place July 10–26 and the Parapan American Games August 7–15. The TORONTO 2015 Games were 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) was tasked with managing and delivering the Games. It 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 TORONTO2015.org or follow @TO2015, @TO2015_fr (French) or @TO2015_es (Spanish).
SOURCE Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games