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Pan Am Games end up fine, Toronto up for Olympic bid

来源: Xinhua 作者: Yan Zhonghua 2015-07-27 16:45:33

  With a star-studded closing ceremony on Sunday evening, Toronto 2015 Pan American Games came to a fine end. The host country set an all-time new national record after taking 217 medals, sitting comfortably second in the medal standing only to the United States.

  After the 16-day competitions, the United States walked away with 103 gold and 265 overall medals, Canada took home 78 gold and 217 medals in total, while Brazil is third with 41 gold and 141 overall, followed by Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and Argentina.

  The 17th Pan Am Games, the largest international multi-sport event ever held in Canada, opened on July 10 greeting over 6,000 athletes from 41 countries and regions in North America and South America. More than 80 Pan Am records were broken over the course of the Games.

  Chinese-American gymnast Laura Zeng snagged five gold medals in rhythmic gymnastics, winning more titles than any other athlete competing at the Toronto Games and becoming the "Golden Girl" of the Games.

  Sunday's closing ceremony at Toronto's Rogers Centre featured some international superstars, showcasing the talents of Chicago hip-hop artist Kanye West, Miami pop-rapper Pitbull and Canadian sensation Serena Ryder.

  Toronto-born singer Ryder performed "Together We Are One," the official song of the Toronto 2015 Games reflecting the theme of "unity through diversity." The many cultures of Toronto and the participating nations and territories of the Americas were celebrated with performances, including traditional hoop dancing of the aboriginal, capoeira of Brazil, tango of Argentina and Tai Chi of the Chinese.

  As the Pan Am Games wrapped up with the hosts' success and better-than-expected excitement, talks have revived for Toronto to bid for another possible future Olympics.

  Both the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and the Canadian Paralympic Committee have called for Toronto to make a pitch, but the city's mayor has said he won't make a decision until after the Games.

  Toronto Mayor John Tory had said the city now has sports facilities to host international competitions that could previously only be held in Vancouver, but officials need to examine the benefits and costs involved in a bid and in hosting the Olympics before deciding whether to proceed.

  COC President Marcel Aubut said Sunday his office will "lead and advocate for Toronto's candidacy for the 2024 Olympic Games." The Pan Ams paved the way for an Olympic bid, said Aubut.

  Meanwhile according to John Furlong, former Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee CEO, hosting the Olympics would finally help Toronto "endear itself to the country," suggesting the city's handling of the Pan Am Games this summer would be a boost for any potential bid.

  Furlong said the experience from hosting the multi-sport event is something other bid cities such as Rome, Paris and Boston could not easily match.

  The deadline for bidding on the 2024 Olympics is Sept. 15, and the winning city will be announced in 2017. Several bids have already been launched: Budapest, Boston, Rome, Paris and Hamburg, Germany. In its recent efforts, Toronto finished third behind Atlanta and Athens for the 1996 summer games and second to Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games.

  "This is a way for Toronto, in some way, to endear itself to the country - to be the biggest city in the country, to be the leader, to be the example for the country, and do something profoundly positive," Furlong said.

  Most of the Pan Am Games' 2-billion U.S. dollar budget comes from the federal, provincial and Toronto governments, with ticket sales expected to cover about 32 million dollars.

  The Parapan Am Games will run from Aug. 7-15. The Games flag was handed over to Lima, Peru, which will hold the next Pan Am Games and Parapan Am Games in 2019.

Keywords:Olympic bid,Toronto, American

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