The Pan American Games (known as Pan Am Games) is a major summer sporting competition held every four years between the nations of the Americas.
Toronto is hosting the 2015 Pan Am games starting July 10 through 26. The Parapan Am Games will be held August 7-15, held for athletes with physical disabilities.
Here are 7 curious facts related to the games to ponder while you enjoy the competitions, or just to know for fun!
Toronto Skyline by Night Image by StockSnap Pixabay
1. Did you know, host city, Toronto, is one of the most multicultural cities in the world? The 2.79 million population of Toronto proper speak over 140 languages! A little over 30% speak a language other than English or French at home.
Canada's Cirque du Soleil will be performing a one-time special performance at the opening ceremonies of the games. Anyone whose heard of the Cirque knows how amazing and special their shows are so this promises to be a unique and fantastic opening ceremonies.
Cirque Verakai Melbourne, CC by 2.0 Magnus Manske. Wikimedia Commons
2. Did you know, James Cameron (Avatar) is teaming up with Cirque du Soleil to create an Avatar-inspired live touring show? This will be called Toruk - The First Flight. They plan to start touring around November 2015.
One of the most popular games in any sporting event is soccer. Pan Am soccer games will be played in neighbour city, Hamilton, at Tim Hortons Field. This stadium was just rebuilt from ground up in the past year.
Soccer Image by Skeeze at Pixabay
The soccer competitions feature both Men's and Women's soccer. Interestingly, both the Canadian Men's and Women's teams drew Brazil!
4. Did you know, soccer is noted to have been developed in the notorious Newgate Prison, London, England, in the early 1800s by prisoners who had their hands cut off for crimes of theft? At the time, they created a sport using only their feet.
The Parapan Am Games run August 7 - 15, about a week after the Pan Am Games. There are 16 different sports offered. Some of these are cycling, wheelchair rugby (originally called murderball!), archery, and power lifting.
Canadian archer, Kevin Evans, is currently a two-time world champion.
5. Did you know an arrow flies at the speed of 354 km/hour? This is somewhat more than the regular speed of the Tokyo Shinkansen train which runs regularly to speeds of 320 km/hour. The Shinkansen is also known as the Bullet Train.
Golf is making its debut at the Pan Am Games 2015 after being away from competition for 112 years. There will be four gender mixed rounds from July 16-19.
Slocum Heath, by Matt Muskovac, CCA SA 3.0 Wikimedia Commons
6. Did you know, the longest golf course in the world is Nullarbor Links in Western Australia? Nullarbor is an 18 hole par 72 course that takes in 1,365 kilometres! Each hole is in a different town or participating roadhouse along Eyre highway, and crosses a time zone. For the aficionados and die hards, and those just wanting that special experience.
Image by Villa de Omas, CCA 3.0 on Wikimedia Commons
7. Did you know, for New Year's in Lima, people wear yellow? It is said too that at midnight on New Year's, if lots of travel is wanted in the next year, people walk around their neighbourhood with an empty suitcase!