The Pan Am Games

Pan Am Games LogoThe 2015 Pan American Games opened in Toronto two weeks ago today on July 10th. Like any other sporting event, there have been moments of absolute triumph for Canada on one end of the spectrum and moments of heartbreaking grief as we’ve seen records broken and outstanding feats of athleticism. I think I might be a little bit in awe: the idea of competing in the pentathlon or even the heptathlon is way beyond me (and I’m not just saying that because the idea of me throwing a javelin should probably have everyone ducking for cover).

Some fun facts about the Games:

  • 1951 was the first ever Pan Am Games held in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • The opening ceremony was produced and directed by Cirque du Soleil – the largest event produced by the company
  • More than 23,000 volunteers will be a part of making the Games happen
  • 3,000 metric tonnes of sand will be used for beach volleyball (heavier than 20 blue whales!)
  • 350 km is the span of the Games footprint between Welland and Minden, about the same as between Parliament Hill and the CN Tower
  • More than 30 venues buildings in the largest multi-sport event ever hosted in Canada
  • 41 countries and territories are participating
  • More than 6,000 athletes, with a record of 45% of competitors are expected to be women, the most ever for any multi-sport event
  • 354 km/h is the speed of an arrow shot from an archer’s bow – more than 3 times the speed of a cheetah
  • 37,500 rolls of toilet paper will be required at the Games – enough to reach from Toronto, Ontario to St. John, New Brunswick
  • Canoe slalom and golf will make their Pan-American Games debut, as well as women’s competitions in baseball, C-1 canoe and rugby sevens
  • Pachi the Porcupine is the mascot for the Games in Toronto
Pachi

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