2015 Parapan American Games

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V Parapan American Games
2015 Parapan American Games logo.svg
Official logo of the 2015 Parapan American Games
Host city Toronto, Ontario
Country Canada
Athletes participating 1,500 (estimated)
Opening ceremony August 7, 2015 (2015-08-07)
Closing ceremony August 14, 2015 (2015-08-14)
Website www.toronto2015.org
2011 Parapan American Games

The 2015 Parapan American Games, officially the V Pan American Games or the 5th Parapan American Games, is a major international multi-sport event that is scheduled to be held from August 7–14, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with some events held in Golden Horseshoe communities such as Hamilton. Approximately 1,500 athletes are expected to participate in 15 sports.[1] Athletes with a physical disability will compete. Both the Parapan American and Pan American Games are being organized by the Toronto 2015 Organizing Committee (TO2015). The 2015 Parapan American Games will become the first Parapan American Games hosted by Canada and the second major para-sport event in Toronto after it hosted the 1976 Summer Paralympics. The Games will be held twelve days after the Pan American Games.

Following PASO tradition, Ontario Lieutenant Governor David Onley and Canadian Minster for sport Bal Gosal received the Pan American Sports Organization flag during the closing ceremony of the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.[2]

The 2015 Parapan American Games is intended to be fully carbon neutral.[citation needed]

Bidding Process[edit]

Toronto was selected by the Canadian Olympic Committee as the official bid city from Canada for the 2015 Parapan American Games.
A map of Canada with Toronto marked in southeastern Ontario.
A map of Canada with Toronto marked in southeastern Ontario.
Location of Toronto in Canada

The Canadian Olympic Committee chose Toronto and the surrounding region as the Canadian candidate. No other Canadian city showed interest in staging the games, therefore Toronto was selected without a vote. Toronto's interest in bidding came after failing to land the 1996 Summer Olympics and the 2008 Summer Olympics, which were held in Atlanta and Beijing respectively.

The Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) made an evaluation visit to Toronto between August 30 and 31, 2009. PASO created the Evaluation Commission, as the International Olympic Committee had done prior to the bidding for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Host cities would often fly members of PASO to their city. The lack of oversight and transparency often led to allegations of money for votes. Afterward, changes brought forth by PASO (the same as the IOC) bidding rules were tightened, and more focused on technical aspects of candidate cities. The team analyzed the candidate city features and provided its feedback back to voting members of PASO. The evaluation committee was headed by Julio Maglione, a member of the IOC representing Uruguay and the head of Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA), the international swimming federation.

Day one of the visit began on Sunday, August 30, and saw PASO officials visit the future home of the new Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, including an aquatics centre, at the University of Toronto Scarborough; the Metro Toronto Convention Centre – proposed media and broadcast centre, and event host; York University’s Rexall Centre and the Hershey Centre in Mississauga. Day two on August 31st had the Evaluation Officials visiting McMaster University’s David Braley Centre in Hamilton, view the Niagara-region water courses by helicopter, and continue the day with visits to Roy Thomson Hall, BMO Field, Direct Energy Centre, Ricoh Coliseum, and finally to the Rogers Centre, where the opening and closing ceremonies events would take place. After the visit Maglione said, "Toronto has all the conditions to play host to the Pan American Games" [3]

Toronto won the bidding process to host the Pan and Parapan American Games by a vote of the Pan American Sports Organization on November 6, 2009, at the PASO Session held in Guadalajara, Mexico. The result was announced by PASO President Mario Vázquez Raña.[4] Toronto faced two other finalists shortlisted Lima, Peru, and Bogotá, Colombia. Toronto earned 33 votes while contesting candidate cities Lima and Bogotá received 11 and 7 votes, respectively.[5]

2015 Parapan American Games bidding results
City NOC Round 1
Toronto  Canada 33
Lima  Peru 11
Bogotá  Colombia 7

Development and preparation[edit]


Varsity Stadium: The Ceremonies and archery venue.

Toronto will become one of the most populous cities to ever hold the Parapan American Games. In August, the month when the Games will be held, Toronto has an average temperature of 21 °C (70 °F). Toronto’s summer temperatures around August are warm, and the city averages less than five days with the temperature going above 30 °C (86 °F). As well in August Toronto averages about 67mm of precipitation. Moreover, Toronto's elevation is at 112 m (367 ft) above sea level, which provides optimal and ideal conditions for athletes.[6]

In January 2012, the organizing committee announced that sixty percent of the originally proposed venues would be dropped, in favour of a clustering system seen at other multi-sport events such as the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain.[7]

The opening and closing ceremonies will be held at Varsity Stadium. Some of the competition venues in the Toronto area included the Pan American Field Hockey Centre, and the Pan American Aquatics Centre and Field House. Competition venues in the suburbs include the Markham Pan Am Centre in Markham and the Abilities Centre in Whitby.

Infrastructure and budget[edit]

Construction work on the subway extension at York University.

The Toronto 2015 Organizing Committee (TO2015) along with all three levels of government will spend about $1.4 billion Canadian dollars in upgrading and building new venues in the region.[8] The provincial government (Ontario) and the Canadian federal government would provide 35% each of the funding, with the municipalities covering the remaining 30% of the cost. Also $1 billion Canadian dollars will be spent on building an athletes' village in the West Don Lands area of Toronto. Therefore the total spent will be $2.4 billion, the highest ever spent for a Pan/Parapan American Games. Later in 2011 Toronto's contribution to the games almost doubled from $49.5 million to $96.5 million for several reasons: the athletics stadium was moved to York University from Hamilton, the soil was to be remediated at the University of Toronto Scarborough where the proposed aquatics centre is supposed to be built, more money was needed for the proposed bmx track and the increase in inflation.[9] $700 million Canadian dollars will be spent to build and renovate infrastructure in the region, about three times what was spent for the 2011 Pan American Games.[10]

Many transit improvements in Toronto will be made in time for these games. These include the Union Pearson Express airport rail link,[11] and the extension of the Yonge–University–Spadina line of the Toronto subway into Vaughan with a stop at York University, site of three sports: athletics, goalball and powerlifting.[12]


Fifteen sports, the most ever for a Parapan American Games will be contested. Wheelchair rugby will make its debut at the Games, while Football 7-a-side makes its return to the games after missing the 2011 Parapan American Games.[12] All fifteen sports will be used for Paralympic qualification in 2016.[12]

See also[edit]