When I was working for TORONO2015 earlier in the year, one of the projects I was working on was a conference we nickname “Are You Ready?“. The conference focused on how businesses in the Greater Toronto Area can get ready, to be great inclusive hosts for the Pan Am / Parapan Am Games. It was my introduction into the intricacies of talking in-depth, and in such a public forum, about accessibility and disability.
Working at TORONTO2015 also introduced me to the plethora of para sports that span from goalball to wheelchair rugby to sitting volleyball, which I’m hoping to see next week at the Parapan Am Games. This year has been an incredible one for sport in Canada, it’s like a never-ending shopping spree of sport!
At the Pan Am Games, I got to as much as I could: track cycling (Milton), handball (Toronto), women’s soccer (Hamilton) and women’s basketball (Toronto). I visited the Toronto sign at City Hall, and checked out the pavilion at Exhibition Place, which was pretty rad. I also Sandra Shamas at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in the Distillery District as part of Panamania. All in all, TORONTO2015 was a joyous frenzy and a chance for Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe area to shine.
There is a debate going on about whether Toronto should put in a bid for the Summer Olympics of 2024. Some have suggested that a tournament of that magnitude would be too financial stressful on Toronto, and instead we should bid for Expo 2025, which is a an almost year-long festival showcasing cultural diversity and technological advances. Hard to say what would be best.
Pictures*** from the Pan Am Games below. Hope to see Toronto welcome and support the Parapan Am athletes just like we did for the Pan Am Games. Support, visibility, and money – the trifecta that allows sport to grow.
***All pictures © Cristina Murano