Toronto 2015 Pan American Games Bid Officially Launched

At a glitzy gathering of politicians, athletes and business leaders in Toronto, David Peterson, Chair of the 2015 Pan Am Games Bid Committee officially launched a bid for the Games. Although officially referred to as the “Toronto and Greater Golden Horseshoe Bid for the 2015 Pan/Parapan Olympic Games’, the new bid logo also launched at the event is simply adorned with the words “Toronto 2015”.

“I’m delighted to launch our 2015 Pan Am Games Bid that showcases the great strengths of this region, and that has tremendous support from athletes, the community and all levels of government,” said Peterson, the former Premier of Ontario who actively tried to bring the 1996 and 2008 Olympics to Toronto.

“The Canadian Olympic Committee is delighted to support this bid. It is a terrific opportunity to build needed facilities for our Olympic and Olympic aspiring athletes, and our communities,” said Michael Chambers, President of Canadian Olympic Committee.

“We can do it, we will do it, failure is not an option” he added.

Toronto Mayor David Miller, along with other civic leaders in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region were also present at the launch event.

“I know Torontonians will welcome the opportunity to host athletes and their supporters from the 42 Pan American Games member nations”, Miller said.

“We are a perfect match for the 2015 Games.”

The Greater Golden Horseshoe is a heavily populated and industrialized region surrounding the west end of Lake Ontario stretching from Niagara Falls north to Oshawa. With over eight million residents, it is home to more than 25% of Canada’s population. Competition venues could be scattered across the region that covers 33,500 square kilometers.

The proposed venues have not been officially announced but when asked Peterson whether his bid committee would focus on spreading venues across the region where they are being demanded or coming up with a compact winnable bid, he answered “we want to win the bid.”

Earlier this week Toronto 2015 appointed publisher Jagoda Pike as President and CEO of the bid – she will officially start the job on Monday. Although reports in August said that the bid committee was looking for a Spanish speaking leader to front the bid, Pike admitted to that she doesn’t speak Spanish and would rely on translators when she campaigns to the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO), a body dominated by Spanish-speaking members. She will join the team when they travel to Acapulco, Mexico next week to present the bid to PASO.

At the launch event were demonstrations of fencing, trampoline, rhythmic gymnastics and judo along with art and musical performances representing Pan American cultures including a Mariachi band and steel drums. This week Peterson suggested that the bid will be a showcase of culture.

The bid logo looks like an abstract maple leaf with three sections, each section made up of two strokes in the shape of a “v” with a spot in the centre. The colours are green, red and blue.

Toronto’s bid is supported by all three levels of government and if it wins will trigger a CDN $950 million capital insvestment and demand a CDN $832 million operating budget for a total investment of over $1.77 billion.

Other cities considering bids for the 2015 Pan Am Games are Bogota Colombia and Lima Peru while Caracas Venezuela announced their bid earlier this week.