As a city, Toronto is a fighter. After five failed Olympic bids, the city was understandably thrilled when they learned in 2009 that they would be hosting the international TORONTO 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.
Now that the games are only months away, there's a buzz in the air that can't be attributed to the celebrated boot-free weather.
With a budget of 1.4 billion dollars and 23,000 volunteers, Toronto is primed to put its best foot forward for this exciting international multi-sport event.
A lit-up sports stadium is a true marker of summer, but this year is especially special — Photo courtesy of TO2015
The sporting events will be sprinkled throughout the city and further out (as far as Oshawa and Welland). The sailing competition will be held at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, which provides one of Toronto's prettiest views (and also one of the most expensive cocktails).
The games feature everything from synchronized swimming to trampoline to waterskiing, and Toronto is ready for over 10,000 athletes, coaches and officials from the Americas and the Caribbean. These summer athletes have dedicated their lives to being the best, and it's enticing to be in their presence.
Maybe some of it will rub off if we cheer hard enough!
Toronto couldn't be more excited to welcome the athletes and spectators — Photo courtesy of TO2015
An ad campaign for the Pan Am games has the psych-you-up hashtag: #NoworNever. The ad showcases those first few moments as the athlete begins: jumping into a pool, clearing a hurdle, landing a flip on a balance beam. As spectators, we don't see the small triumphs that add up to an incredible and emotional event.
You can watch the athletes sweat it out and eat an ice cream at the same time. Win-win! — Photo courtesy of TO2015
Often, an athlete's village is built away from a city's center, where athletes can rest and obsess away from the prying eyes of fans. Yet Toronto has built an 80-acre site next to the Don River in Toronto's waterfront district.
Pan Am CEO Saad Rafi thinks this is a pretty unique feature, a location within 45 minutes of the games venues and 25 minutes away from the airport. There's no need to exhaust the athletes prior to their anticipated events: they've done enough.
The Athlete's Village at Canary Park — Photo courtesy of Spencer Wynn
The 2015 Pan Am games are scheduled for Friday, July 10, through Sunday, July 26, while the ParaPan Am games are scheduled for Friday, August 7, through Saturday, August 15.
There's already been a big chunk cut out of the 1.4 million tickets sold; yet as the dates get closer, excitement builds.
Sports are a microcosm of the rest of our lives. When we see athletes succeed or fail, we remember how we felt when we tried our hardest and it either paid off handsomely or kicked us in the gut. It's immediately riveting, unlike, say, another episode of the Kardashians.
We don't have to wait for it anymore, Toronto. It's #NoworNever.