Dignitaries Descend on Guadalajara for Handover Ceremony
GUADALAJARA, October 26, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Games Organizing Committee (TO2015), backed by a strong and unified team of representatives from all levels of government, is ready to show the Americas that Canada is preparing an exciting welcome for the largest multi-sport event ever held in the country.
Dignitaries attending the Handover Ceremony include: His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport), the Honourable Charles Sousa, Ontario's Minister responsible for the Pan/Parapan Am Games, His Worship Mayor Rob Ford and Chief William K. Montour, Elected Chief, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.
As the 2011 Pan American Games continue with sport competitions in Guadalajara, TO2015 and its government partners are in Mexico to take part in their official role in the Closing Ceremony in the Omnilife Stadium on October 30.
"The handover component of the Closing Ceremony marks a key milestone on the road to the Toronto 2015 Games," said Ian Troop, TO2015 Chief Executive Officer. "With the unified support of our government partners, accepting the Pan Am flag officially means we're next!"
Along with participation from Mexican and Canadian dignitaries, specific protocol involving the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) flag is strictly followed in the Handover Ceremony.
"Having representatives of all our government partners at the ceremony provides a strong signal to everyone in the Americas that Toronto, our venue municipalities, the Province of Ontario and Canada are all working together to make sure that a warm welcome and top-notch experience awaits all Games participants in 2015," added Troop.
"Ontario is proud to be the next host region of the Pan/Parapan Am Games," said Sousa. "We are well on the way to hosting an event in Ontario that will welcome more than 10,000 athletes and officials, draw more than 250,000 visitors, create 15,000 jobs, trigger infrastructure development and showcase our province on an international stage."
"Toronto is proud to be hosting the Pan/Parapan American Games in 2015," said City of Toronto's Mayor Rob Ford. "The Games will be great for the city. They will generate investment in our sporting infrastructure, create a positive economic impact and showcase Toronto to hundreds of thousands of visitors. I look forward to representing Toronto in Guadalajara and to being part of the official handover celebrations with our other government partners."
"As a proud supporter of the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games, our Government will continue to work with our partners to create a remarkable sport experience for athletes and fans," said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). "We recognize that hosting these Games in Toronto will create opportunities for economic, cultural and community development. We look forward to working together to proudly welcome the Americas to Toronto in 2015."
Near the midway point of the two-hour Closing Ceremony that will celebrate the excitement and achievements of the Guadalajara 2011 Games, the protocol-driven flag handover segment will take place.
Following the declaration of Toronto as the next Host City of the Games, an eight-minute creative presentation will give the nearly 50,000 spectators in the Stadium, and those watching the broadcast throughout the Americas, a taste of what's to come in Toronto in less than four years.
"Every minute counts as we showcase the creative blend of culture and athletics that makes Toronto a unique region of the world," said Troop. "With a French-Canadian flair, a tribute to our Aboriginal history and a celebration of Latin American and Caribbean music, the invitation is clear: Toronto is the place to be in 2015."
The Closing Ceremony for the Pan Am Games will air Sunday, October 30 beginning at 8:00 pm (Eastern Time) on cbcsports.ca.
About the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games
The Pan American Games are one of the world's largest international multi-sport events, held every four years for athletes of the 41 member nations of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO). The Games comprise all Olympic Summer Games sports, as well as traditional Pan American sports. The Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games will draw 10,000 athletes and officials and feature 48 sports in 17 municipalities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe area. The Toronto 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10-26 and the Parapan American Games August 7-14.
For more information about the Games, please visit toronto2015.org.