With the Games less than a year away, Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) technical committee head Mike Fennell is confident the 25 venues will be ready and Toronto will be a perfect a host city.
He was in the city two weeks ago for celebrations to mark the one-year countdown to the Pan American Games that runs from July 10-26. The Parapan Am Games will be held from August 7-15.
Fennell, who is also the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president, presented the medals to the top three male and female finishers at the International Triathlon Union Pan Am Cup events at Ontario Place.
Barbadian Jason Wilson, who attends the University of Guelph, was third in the men’s elite category.
“This is not one of the sports that attract participants from the Caribbean at a high level,” said Fennell. “So to actually see someone from the region doing this well and heading to the Commonwealth Games in the next few days is amazing. I am happy for the young man.”
Pan Am Games’ participants will compete on the same course next year.
“This is one of our test events and it meets all expectations,” said Fennel, a PASO executive committee honorary member and Commonwealth Games Federation past president. “It’s a wonderful facility and the athletes could not ask for better.”
A Pan Am Games sport since 1995, Canada has five medals – including two gold – in the multi-stage competition involving swimming, cycling and running in intermediate succession over various distances.
The JOA president since 1977, Fennell also visited the Games’ village on an 80-acre site next to the Don River and other facilities.
“The village is well advanced and the billets are substantially completed,” he said. “I am also confident that the soccer facility in Hamilton will be an excellent venue for the sport when it’s completed.”
The venue, which is the new home for the Canadian Football League Hamilton Tiger-Cats, is expected to be completed in the fall.
With more athletes and sports than the 2010 Vancouver Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games, the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics and the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics, the Toronto Pan Am/Parapan Am Games will be the largest multi-sport event ever hosted in Canada.
Nearly 7,600 Pan Am and Parapan athletes from 41 countries will compete in 36 sports, including women’s baseball, golf and canoe/kayak slalom which will debut in this city.
This will be the first time that a multi-sport event will be held in this province since the first official Commonwealth Games in Hamilton in 1930.
By RON FANFAIR