2015 Parapan American Games

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

V Parapan American Games
HostToronto, Canada
MottoUnited We Play
Events317 in 15 sports
OpeningAugust 7
ClosingAugust 15
Opened byGovernor General David Johnston
Cauldron lighterChantal Peticlerc
Main venuePan Am and Parapan Am
Athletics Stadium
(opening ceremony)
Nathan Phillips Square (closing ceremony)

The 2015 Parapan American Games, officially the V Parapan American Games and commonly known as the Toronto 2015 ParaPan-Am Games, were a major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities, celebrated in the tradition of the Parapan American Games as governed by the Americas Paralympic Committee, held from August 7 to 15, 2015, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Marking the first Parapan American games hosted by Canada, and the second major Paralympic sports event hosted by Toronto since the 1976 Summer Paralympics, the Games were held at venues in Toronto and four other Golden Horseshoe communities.[1] Both the Parapan American and Pan American Games were organized by the Toronto 2015 Organizing Committee (TO2015).

The Games hosted 1,608 athletes representing 28 National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) in the Americas. 445 events were held in 15 sports—all of which serving as qualifiers for the 2016 Summer Paralympics, including the debut of wheelchair rugby at the Parapan American Games, and the return of 7-a-side football following its absence from the 2011 Parapan American Games.

Bidding process[edit]

Toronto was selected by the Canadian Olympic Committee as the official bid city from Canada for the 2015 Parapan American Games

The Canadian Olympic Committee chose Toronto and the surrounding region as the Canadian candidate. No other Canadian city was given a chance to bid in a domestic race, and thus Toronto was selected without a vote.[2] 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.

On February 23, 2009, both Toronto City Council and Hamilton City Council approved the bid officially and confirmed their intentions to support the successful hosting of the event.[3] The official bid book document was submitted to the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) on May 27, 2009.[4]

PASO made an evaluation visit to Toronto between August 30 and 31, 2009. 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. After the visit Maglione said, "Toronto has all the conditions to play host to the Pan American Games".[5]

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.[6] 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.[7]

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 archery venue.

Toronto became one of the most populous cities to ever hold the Parapan American Games. In August, the month when the Games was 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.[8]

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.[9]

Athletes' living quarters were at the 2015 Pan American Games Athletes' Village.

The opening ceremonies was held at the CIBC Pan Am and Parapan Am Athletics Stadium and the closing ceremonies was held at Nathan Phillips Square. The Parapan Games re-used 12 venues from the Pan Am Games while one venue University of Toronto Scarborough Tennis Centre was newly constructed for the Parapan Am Games. Some of the competition venues in the Toronto area included the Pan American Field Hockey Centre, and the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. Only four competition venues were located outside of Toronto:

Infrastructure and budget[edit]

The Toronto 2015 Organizing Committee (TO2015) along with all three levels of government spent about $1.4 billion Canadian dollars in upgrading and building new venues in the region.[10] The provincial government (Ontario) and the Canadian federal government provided 35% each of the funding, with the municipalities covering the remaining 30% of the cost. Also $1 billion Canadian dollars was spent on building an athletes' village in the West Don Lands area of Toronto. Therefore, the total cost was $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.[11] $700 million Canadian dollars was spent to build and renovate infrastructure in the region, about three times what was spent for the 2011 Pan American Games.[12]

Many transit improvements in Toronto were made in time for these games. These included the Union Pearson Express airport rail link.[13]


The Athlete's village cost $735 million CAD and had the capacity to hold up to 7,200 athletes and officials.[14] After the games the village was converted to 746 market priced condos, 41 market-priced town homes, 250 affordable-rent apartments, 257 student dormitory units for George Brown College, office and retail units, and a YMCA recreation centre. The Athlete's Village was located in the West Don Lands along Front Street between Bayview Avenue and Cherry Street in Toronto. The development was certified LEED Gold.[15]


Braile on the back of a 2015 Parapan American Games Medal

In October 2013 it was announced that the medals for the games would be produced and designed by the Royal Canadian Mint.[16] In September 2014 it was announced that the supplier of the raw minerals used in the medals (over 4,000 in total) would be Barrick Gold. All the materials used in the medals will come from the company's operations in the Americas region.[17] The copper was mined at the company's Zaldivar mine in Chile, the silver at the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic and the gold was mined at the Hemlo mine in Northern Ontario.[18]

The designs of the medals, created by artist Christi Belcourt were revealed on March 3, 2015 at a ceremony at the Royal Ontario Museum. Each of them are roughly 86.7 millimetres in diameter and weigh about 350 grams. The front of the medal featured three shapes representing three regions of the Americas: North America, Central America and the Caribbean, and South America. It also featured Braille for the first time.[19] The back of the medal featured the logo and motto of the games and the elements of mokume-gane.[20][21]


The organization committee expected 23,000 volunteers to be required for Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.[22] Over 63,000 applicants applied to become a volunteer.[23] A total of 6,688 volunteers participated as part of the Games.[24]


Ticket sales began on March 25, 2015.[25] More than 90,000 out of the 200,000 tickets available were sold.[26]

Torch relay[edit]

The Parapan torch relay consisted of a 5-day journey, visiting 12 communities. Two torches were lit, one in the west at Niagara Falls and one in the east at Ottawa. Both make their way towards and reunite in Toronto.[27]


Pachi greets US Ambassador Bruce Heyman at the 2015 Pan American Games


Pachi was chosen as the Games mascot in 2013. The design was based on porcupine. Porcupines have relatively poor vision, so the choice of basing Pachi's design on a porcupine is said to be a symbolic bond with the athletes of the Parapan Games.[28]

The Games[edit]


The Opening Ceremony was held on August 7, 2015 at the CIBC Pan Am and Parapan Am Athletics Stadium,[29] while the closing ceremony was held on 15 August 2015 at Nathan Phillips Square.[30]

Opening ceremony[edit]

Before the ceremony began, the president of the Americas Paralympic Committee, Jose Luis Campo and Governor General David Johnston were introduced and entered the box of honour officially. This was followed by a countdown of number 20 to 0.

A rendition of Canada's national anthem was performed by Franco-Ontarian Gabrielle Goulet during the raising of the flag of the host country by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Ontario Provincial Police and after that, a Lockheed C-130 Hercules of the Royal Canadian Air Force flew past over the stadium.[31]

The ceremony began with an introductory performance called Migration of honour which represents the four elements of life: earth, water, wind and fire. It featured acrobatic dancers and performers from country’s four ancestral nations - The Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, the Huron-Wendat Nation, the Six Nations of the Grand River and the Métis Nation of Ontario. The performance was followed immediately by the Parade of Nations. Each teams marched into the stadium, preceded by a person carrying a circular placard written with the name of each participating team in the three languages (English, French and Spanish). The Canadian delegation entered last, representing the host nation. The remaining countries entered in English alphabetical order.[32]

During the ceremony, Americas Paralympic Committee (APC) flag was carried into the stadium by Arnold Boldt, Tim McIsaac, Chelsey Gotell, Paul Rosen, Robert Hampson, David Shannon, Patrick Jarvis and Dr. Robert Steadward and raised to the Paralympic Anthem.[33] Toronto 2015 chief executive Saäd Rafi and APC president Jose gave their speeches before Governor General David Johnston declare the games opened. Benoit Huot read the athletes’ oath, while cycling coach Sebastien Travers read the coaches oath. The ceremony featured dance and song performances produced by B5C Productions in a joint venture between local company BaAM Productions and American-based FiveCurrents, which symbolized unity through diversity. During the final torch relay, the flame was brought in by activist and athlete Rick Hansen and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) program host Rick Mercer and passed to wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc who lit the cauldron. The ceremony concluded with Francesco Yates performing songs from debut album.[34]

Parade of Nations[edit]

Order Nation Spanish French Flag bearer Sport
1  Argentina (ARG) Argentina Argentine Rodrigo Lopez Cycling
2  Aruba (ARU) Aruba Aruba Albertino Maduro Athletics
3  Barbados (BAR) Barbados Barbade David Taylor Swimming
4  Bermuda (BER) Bermuda Bermudes Yushae DeSilva-Andrade Boccia
5  Brazil (BRA) Brasil Brésil Terezinha Guilhermina Athletics
6  Chile (CHI) Chile Chili Cristian Valenzuela Athletics
7  Colombia (COL) Colombia Colombie Carlos Daniel Serrano Swimming
8  Costa Rica (CRC) Costa Rica Costa Rica Jose Jimenez Hernandez Athletics
9  Cuba (CUB) Cuba Cuba Yunidis Castillo Athletics
10  Dominican Republic (DOM) República Dominicana République dominicaine Wemerson Garcia De La Rosa Athletics
11  Ecuador (ECU) Ecuador Equateur Darwin Castro Athletics
12  El Salvador (ESA) El Salvador Salvador Gabriel Espinoza Macal Table tennis
13  Guatemala (GUA) Guatemala Guatemala Isaac Leiva Avila Athletics
14  Haiti (HAI) Haití Haïti Nephtalie Jean-Louis Athletics
15  Honduras (HON) Honduras Honduras Carlos Velasquez Hernandez Athletics
16  Jamaica (JAM) Jamaica Jamaïque Tevaughn Thomas Athletics
17  Mexico (MEX) México Mexique Nely Miranda Swimming
18  Nicaragua (NCA) Nicaragua Nicaragua Gabriel Cuadra Holmann Athletics
19  Panama (PAN) Panamá Panama Cesar Barria Swimming
20  Peru (PER) Perú Perou Pedro Pablo de Vinatea Swimming
21  Puerto Rico (PUR) Puerto Rico Porto Rico Carlos Ocasio Wheelchair basketball
22  Suriname (SUR) Surinam Suriname Sefanja Hankers Swimming
23  Trinidad and Tobago (TTO) Trinidad y Tobago Trinité-et-Tobago Carlos Grenne Athletics
24  United States (USA) Estados Unidos de América États-Unis D'Amerique Curtis Lovejoy[35] Swimming
25  Uruguay (URU) Uruguay Uruguay Henry Burgos Judo
26  Virgin Islands (ISV) Islas Vírgenes de los Estados Unidos Îles Vierges des États-Unis Ivan Espinosa Athletics
27  Venezuela (VEN) Venezuela Venezuela Luis Paiva Athletics
28  Canada (CAN) Canadá Canada Marco Dispaltro[36] Boccia

Closing ceremony[edit]

The ceremony began with the introduction of Toronto mayor and APC president Campo. The ceremony featured Sean Jones rendition of Canada's national anthem, the Franco-Ontarian urban folk band Le Group Swing, performances from Grammy award-winner Wyclef Jean, as well as country music singer-songwriter Meghan Patrick. That night, president of the Americas Paralympic Committee, Jose Luis Campo described the Games "the best Parapan American Games ever".[37] After Saäd Rafi, chief executive officer and Campo gave their speeches, Campo declared the games closed and the Americas Paralympic Committee flag was lowered. Toronto Mayor John Tory passed the APC flag over to Lima Mayor Luis Castañeda Lossio through Campo. A cultural performance from Peru was presented to symbolize Peru as the host of the next edition. The flame was extinguished when spoken word artist Mustafa the Poet performed on stage. The ceremony concluded with fireworks released to the sky.[38][39]

Participating nations[edit]

28 nations competed at the Games.

Participating National Paralympic Committees

Number of athletes by National Paralympic Committee[edit]


Fifteen sports, the most ever for a Parapan American Games were contested. Wheelchair rugby made its debut at the Games, while Football 7-a-side made its return to the games after missing the 2011 Parapan American Games.[40] All fifteen sports were used for Paralympic qualification in 2016.[40]



OC Opening ceremony Event competitions 1 Event finals CC Closing ceremony
August 7
Ceremonies OC CC
Archery 4 4
Athletics 21 26 19 22 26 114
Boccia 3 4 7
Cycling 7 3 4 4 18
Football 5-a-side 1 1
Football 7-a-side 1 1
Goalball 1 1 2
Judo 3 2 4 9
Powerlifting 3 3 3 3 12
Sitting volleyball 2 2
Swimming 16 15 19 17 17 17 15 116
Table tennis 3 14 3 4 24
Wheelchair basketball 1 1 2
Wheelchair rugby 1 1
Wheelchair tennis 2 2 4
Total events 29 21 64 54 42 51 53 3 317
Cumulative total 29 50 114 168 210 261 314 317
August 7

Medal table[edit]

Gold medal
Silver medal
Bronze medal

The final medal count.[43]   *   Host nation (Canada)

1 Brazil (BRA)1097474257
2 Canada (CAN)*506355168
3 United States (USA)405144135
4 Mexico (MEX)383639113
5 Colombia (COL)24363090
6 Cuba (CUB)19151347
7 Argentina (ARG)18252467
8 Venezuela (VEN)8142547
9 Chile (CHI)42612
10 Jamaica (JAM)2215
11 Trinidad and Tobago (TTO)2002
12 Ecuador (ECU)1045
13 Bermuda (BER)1001
 Uruguay (URU)1001
15 Nicaragua (NCA)0044
16 Costa Rica (CRC)0022
 Puerto Rico (PUR)0022
18 Dominican Republic (DOM)0011
Totals (18 entries)317318324959

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dakshana Bascaramurty (July 3, 2015). "Glamour, pride and cash: Why cities compete to put on a sports spectacle". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on July 16, 2015. Retrieved July 16, 2015. Winnipeg – the only other Canadian city ever to be a Pan Am host, which it has done twice – had a modest goal as well as a modest budget.
  2. ^ Gerein, Keith (August 15, 2008). "Pursuit of 2015 Universiade may be futile". Edmonton Journal. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: Postmedia Network Inc. Archived from the original on September 12, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  3. ^ "Pan Am Games bid gets critical endorsement". CNW Group. February 23, 2009. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  4. ^ "Toronto Submits 2015 Pan American Games Bid Book". canadiancyclist.com/. May 27, 2009. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  5. ^ "Pan Am Bid Evaluation Head Enthusiastic About Toronto Venues And Bid Legacy". Barbados Gazette. September 1, 2009. Archived from the original on September 4, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  6. ^ "Toronto wins 2015 Pan Am Games". Toronto Star. John D. Cruickshank. September 9, 2009. Archived from the original on November 9, 2009. Retrieved April 7, 2011.
  7. ^ "Toronto wins bid to host 2015 Pan Am Games". The Canadian Press. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: CP24. November 6, 2009. Archived from the original on October 29, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  8. ^ "Maintenance". toronto2015.org. Archived from the original on May 25, 2013.
  9. ^ "Pan Am Games set for big venue changes". thestar.com. January 26, 2012. Archived from the original on April 13, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  10. ^ "FAQ - Toronto 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games". toronto2015.org. Archived from the original on September 3, 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  11. ^ "Toronto's Pan Am costs to double". Toronto Star. January 13, 2011. Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
  12. ^ "Rumbo a 2015 Toronto toma la estafeta panamericana". mediotiempo.com. October 31, 2011.
  13. ^ Megan O'Toole (December 19, 2011). "Union-Pearson air-rail link construction to start spring 2012". National Post. Archived from the original on June 30, 2017. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  14. ^ Lysyk, Bonnie (June 1, 2016). "2015 Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games Special Report June 2016" (PDF). www.auditor.on.ca. Ontario Ombudsman. Retrieved March 26, 2022.
  15. ^ "Toronto 2015 Athletes' Village / West Don Lands / Explore Projects / Waterfront Toronto". Waterfrontoronto.ca. Archived from the original on September 18, 2012. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  16. ^ Criger, Erin (October 9, 2013). "Royal Canadian Mint to make Toronto Pan Am medals". CityNews. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Archived from the original on February 21, 2015. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  17. ^ "Barrick named the exclusive provider of gold, silver and bronze for the medals at Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games". barrickbeyondborders.com/. Barrick Gold. September 29, 2014. Archived from the original on February 3, 2015. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  18. ^ "Pan Am Games medals unveiled in Toronto". CBC Sports. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. March 3, 2015. Archived from the original on November 25, 2020. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  19. ^ "Medals for Toronto Pan Am Games to incorporate Braille for the first time". The Globe and Mail. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. March 3, 2015. Archived from the original on November 25, 2020. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  20. ^ "The Medals Story". toronto2015.org. TO2015. March 3, 2015. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  21. ^ Pavitt, Michael (March 3, 2015). "Toronto 2015 unveil medals for Pan and Parapan American Games". insidethegames.biz/. Insidethegames. Archived from the original on November 25, 2020. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  22. ^ Clarke, Katrina (July 3, 2015). "How GTA employees are gearing up for Pan Am traffic". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on November 25, 2020. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  23. ^ Hunter, Paul (June 10, 2015). "Canadian Olympics chief says Toronto ready for bid". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  24. ^ "2015 Pan American / Parapan American Games – City Expenditures and Related Legacies" (PDF). www.toronto.ca/. City of Toronto. February 26, 2016. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  25. ^ "Parapan Am Games tickets go on sale while Pan Am Games tickets suspended". CBC News. March 25, 2015. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  26. ^ "Largest Ever Parapan Am Games Make History". TO2015. August 15, 2015. Archived from the original on August 17, 2015. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  27. ^ "Parapan Am Games Torch Relay Route" (PDF). Toronto 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 23, 2015. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  28. ^ Dakshana Bascaramurty (November 21, 2014). "Toronto Pan Am Games mascot has cost taxpayers $383,045 so far". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on July 16, 2015. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
  29. ^ Opening ceremony
  30. ^ Closing ceremony
  31. ^ "Vibrant Opening Ceremony gets Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games underway". Archived from the original on September 23, 2020. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  32. ^ "Opening Ceremony of Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games". Archived from the original on November 26, 2020. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  33. ^ "Arnold Boldt carries flag at Parapan Am Games". Archived from the original on October 1, 2020. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  34. ^ "The 2015 Parapan Am Games Are ON!". Archived from the original on October 1, 2020. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  35. ^ "Curtis Lovejoy announced as United States flag bearer for Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games Opening Ceremony". Archived from the original on September 23, 2020. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  36. ^ "Paralympic boccia bronze medallist to carry Canada's flag at Parapan American Games Opening Ceremony". Archived from the original on September 23, 2020. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  37. ^ McDermott, Julianna (August 16, 2015). "Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games Praised As The 'Largest, Loudest And Best Ever'". Huffington Post Canada. Archived from the original on September 12, 2015. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  38. ^ "Americas Paralympic Committee chief hails Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games as the "best ever"". Archived from the original on October 2, 2020. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  39. ^ TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games End on a High Note
  40. ^ a b "Maintenance". toronto2015.org. Archived from the original on March 23, 2015. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  41. ^ General schedule
  42. ^ Medalists
  43. ^ Medal count

Further reading[edit]

Archival holdings[edit]

Toronto 2015 Pan Am & Parapan American Games—Web archive collected by the University of Toronto Libraries

External links[edit]

Preceded by V Parapan American Games

Succeeded by