Thursday 16 July 2015

Pan Am Games: What Are They?

We are in the midst of the 2015 Pan Am Games, being hosted by Toronto. I was fortunate enough to attend the Opening Ceremony (more on that next week) as well as some events during the first four days (again, more on that next week). If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you have seen some pictures from the events I attended. I would love to attend more of the games, but, sadly, I don't think I'll be able to make it happen.
Before going into what I did at the Games, I thought I would do a super brief overview of what the Pan Am(erican) Games are!
  • In 2015, there are 41 countries form the Americas (North, Central, South) and the Caribbean participating
  • Over 6,000 athletes are competing
  • Pan Am is affiliated with the Olympics; as a result, the games, celebrations and traditions very similar to the Olympics
  • Pan Am Games are held the summer before the Summer Olympics
  • There are almost 50 different summer sports at the Games, a full list can be found here
  • Some of the Pan Am sporting events are actually qualifiers for the you get to see Olympians and future Olympians compete, which is kind of cool
Basically, Pan Am is like the pre-Olympics.

A couple of things to note about the Toronto 2015 games:
  • Pachi, a porcupine, is the official mascot. He  has 41 quills, in the Pan Am colours, to represent the 41 countries competing
  • The games run from July 10 until July 26 and will be followed by the Para- Pan Am Games
  • The Para-Pan Am medals, for the first time ever, have Braille on them
  • While Toronto is the Host City, there are 13 municipalities that will be hosting events as part of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games
  • About 45% of the competitors will be female, the most ever for a multi-sport event
  • There are 7 events making their Pan Am debut, including Women C1 Canoe- which I got to see!!
It's a pretty exciting event and I'm so happy that I got to experience some of it in person. I can't wait to share my experience (and pictures!) in the next week or so.

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