Sunday, July 12, 2015

Pan Am Games 2015

July is turning out to be a month of celebrations here. Canada Day got the party started and we have welcomed the Pan American Games to Toronto this week. The opening ceremonies took place Friday night at the Rogers Centre - for those who do not live here this is 'The Dome' that is nestled next to the CN Tower. Concerts of epic proportions are held at this venue and last night it was a performance to welcome the athletes that had the town rocking.

Fireworks explode from the CN Tower marking the start of the Pan Am Games.

The building, planning and preparations have been lengthy in Toronto and the surrounding area. The GTA (Greater Toronto Area) may be struggling tolerating the highway changes made to accommodate the games, but the opening ceremonies has brought excitement to the city this weekend.

The Gold Medal 4 x100 relay team at the 1996 Atalnta Olympics carried the Pan Am torch across the city. Canadian track and field athlete Bruny Surin worked with the Cirque du Soleil team to help him overcome his fear of heights. The gold medal winner (attached by a tether) sprinted around outer rim of the CN Tower to pass the torch to Canadian sprinter Donovan Bailey, who was wearing a parachute. 

1,168 feet (116 storeys) above the ground, the torch is passed and then .......

The magic of film creates the illusion that Bailey jumped with the torch, while a stunt double takes the step off of the ledge and lands on the domed roof of the Rogers Centre.
(More about edge walks at the CN Tower - yes, you can walk the edge - HERE)

Inside the Rogers Centre athletes parade their flags and wave to the cheering crowds. Cirque du Soleil presented the 150 minute opening ceremonies that featured 625 performers.

Over 700 Canadian athletes arrive for the games.
Canada welcomes the athletes to the Pan Am Games. (image Rick Madonik)

And of course no party in Toronto would be complete without participation from the CN Tower. Fireworks exploded from various points and created a spectacular picture of the city line.

Canada is off to a good start with 8 medals already - 4 of them gold. Let's hope that the home town crowds will bring good luck as we cheer on our athletes.

Good luck to all of the athletes from North America, Central America and the Caribbean, and South America. It's your time to shine and Toronto's turn to roll out the carpet that leads to the winners podium.

image: Marcus Mitanis

1 comment:

  1. Katherine, what am amazing looking event! It looks truly spectacular