The Pan American Sports Organization’s (PASO) Evaluation Commission is in its second and final day Monday of its inspection of venues for Toronto 2015’s Pan American bid.
The commission spent a good portion of the day hearing presentations by Canadian Olympians including Curt Harnett (cycling) Marnie McBean (rowing).
Jagoda Pike, President of Toronto 2015 said, “we’re fortune to have athletes in Canada who are incredibly supportive of our bid for the 2015 Games. They are very enthusiastic about the Games and the variety of outstanding venues available for athletes”.
The commission visited athletic and sport medicine facilities at McMaster University’s Bradley David Braley Centre, before getting an aerial view by helicopter of the Niagara-region water courses where rowing, sailing and open water swims would take place.
The commission also toured Roy Thomson Hall (weightlifting), BMO Field, (football), Direct Energy Centre (handball), Ricoh Coliseum (gymnastics), the Air Canada Centre (basketball), and the Rogers Centre, which would be hosting baseball and the venue for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
About three dozen protesters were at a rally Monday morning against Toronto’s bid. The demonstrators included members of Bread Not Circuses, a grassroots movement that rose up against Toronto’s two failed Olympic bids.
The National Post reports John Clarke from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, said the ranks might not be large now, but he hopes the attention of protesting the evaluating committee’s visit will gain momentum across the GTA (Greater Toronto Area).
He said a mega-sporting event diverts resources away from priorities like transit, affordable housing and healthcare while the promised payoff’s never materialize and more often leave a legacy of public debt.
David Peterson, Chair of Toronto 2015 said, “we believe all the suggested venues are world-class facilities and will be a perfect fit for the high-calibre athletes who will attend the Pan Am Games in 2015. All present and future facilities represent our commitment to athletics, athletes and future athletes in Toronto and the rest of Canada”.
A decision on the winning city – Toronto, Lima or Bogota – is due by the end of the year.