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2015 Parapan American Games

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).

V Parapan American Games
2015 Parapan American Games logo.svg
Host cityToronto, Canada
MottoUnited We Play
Events317 in 15 sports
OpeningAugust 7
ClosingAugust 15
Opened by
StadiumPan Am and Parapan Am
Athletics Stadium
Guadalajara 2011 Lima 2019

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 processEdit

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 preparationEdit


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 budgetEdit

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]


In October 2013 it was announced that the medals for the games would be produced and designed by the Royal Canadian Mint.[14] 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 Pan American region.[15] 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.[16]

The designs of the medals were revealed on March 3, 2015 at a ceremony at the Royal Ontario Museum. The medals are roughly 86.7 millimetres in diameter and weigh about 350 grams.[17] The artist of the medals is Christi Belcourt. There are three shapes on the front of the medal representing North America, Central America and the Caribbean, and South America, the three regions that will be competing at the games, while also giving a feel and texture of the medal podium. The back of the medal represents the logo and motto of the games. The design also includes the elements and technique of mokume-gane.[18][19]


The Parapan American Games required 7000 volunteers.[20] It shared the same volunteer recruitment, selection, and training process as the Pan American Games, which drew over 63,000 applicants to become a volunteer.[21]


Ticket sales began on March 25, 2015.[22] More than 90,000 out of the 200,000 tickets available were sold.[23]

Torch relayEdit

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.[24]


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.[25]

The GamesEdit

Participating nationsEdit

28 nations competed at the Games.


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.[26] All fifteen sports were used for Paralympic qualification in 2016.[26]


The president of the Americas Paralympic Committee, Jose Luis Campo described the Games "the best Parapan American Games ever".[27]



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 N/A
August 7

Medal tableEdit


  *   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 NPCs)317318324959

See alsoEdit


  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. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  4. ^ "Toronto Submits 2015 Pan American Games Bid Book". May 27, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  5. ^ "Pan Am Bid Evaluation Head Enthusiastic About Toronto Venues And Bid Legacy". Barbados Gazette. September 1, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  6. ^ "Toronto wins 2015 Pan Am Games". Toronto Star. John D. Cruickshank. September 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.
  8. ^ "Maintenance". Archived from the original on 2013-05-25.
  9. ^ "Pan Am Games set for big venue changes". 26 January 2012.
  10. ^ "FAQ - Toronto 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games". Archived from the original on 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2012-10-06.
  11. ^ "Toronto's Pan Am costs to double". Toronto Star. 2011-01-13. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
  12. ^ "Rumbo a 2015 Toronto toma la estafeta panamericana". 31 October 2011.
  13. ^ Megan O'Toole (19 December 2011). "Union-Pearson air-rail link construction to start spring 2012". National Post.
  14. ^ Criger, Erin (October 9, 2013). "Royal Canadian Mint to make Toronto Pan Am medals". CityNews. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  15. ^ "Barrick named the exclusive provider of gold, silver and bronze for the medals at Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games". Barrick Gold. September 29, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  16. ^ "Pan Am Games medals unveiled in Toronto". CBC Sports. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. March 3, 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  17. ^ "Medals for Toronto Pan Am Games to incorporate Braille for the first time". The Globe and Mail. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. March 3, 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  18. ^ "The Medals Story". TO2015. March 3, 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  19. ^ Pavitt, Michael (March 3, 2015). "Toronto 2015 unveil medals for Pan and Parapan American Games". Insidethegames. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  20. ^ Battersby, Sarah-Joyce (July 27, 2015). "The Pan Am Games are over. Now what?". Toronto Star. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  21. ^ Hunter, Paul (June 10, 2015). "Canadian Olympics chief says Toronto ready for bid". Toronto Star. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  22. ^ "Parapan Am Games tickets go on sale while Pan Am Games tickets suspended". CBC News. March 25, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  23. ^ "Largest Ever Parapan Am Games Make History". TO2015. August 15, 2015. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  24. ^ "Parapan Am Games Torch Relay Route" (PDF). Toronto 2015.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ a b "Maintenance".
  27. ^ McDermott, Julianna (August 16, 2015). "Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games Praised As The 'Largest, Loudest And Best Ever'". Huffington Post Canada.
  28. ^ General schedule
  29. ^ Medalists
  30. ^ Medal count

Further readingEdit

Archival holdingsEdit

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

External linksEdit