Thursday, May 7 marked a milestone in York University’s Pan Am/Parapan Am journey.
During a small ceremony held in the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletics Stadium on the University’s Keele campus, York University President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri, Canadian Olympic Athlete and York U alumna Molly Killingbeck, and Allen Vansen, executive vice-president of operations for Toronto 2015, put down the last piece of the stadium’s running surface. The trio were then presented with commemorative pieces of the track.
The newly built, fully accessible CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletics Stadium will house 21 track and field events and offer seating for 12,500 spectators.
The track events feature distances from 100 metres to 10,000 metres, with the excitement of hurdles and the steeplechase as well. The field competitions include the throwing events of shot put, discus, javelin and hammer throw, while the jumping events offer pole vault, high jump, long jump and triple jump. Track and field also includes, for men, the legendary decathlon (runs of 100 metres, 400 metres and 1,500 metres; 110-metre high hurdles; throws of javelin and discus; shot put; pole vault; high jump and long jump) and for women, the equally impressive heptathlon (100-metre hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200-metre run, long jump, javelin and 800-metre run).
York University will welcome thousands of athletes from 41 countries in the Americas and the Caribbean this summer. Canada has had the honour of hosting the games twice in the past, but it’s a first for Toronto this year, and a first here at York. The Pan Am and Parapan Am Games are the world’s third largest international multi-sport games, held every four years immediately before the Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games.
In addition to hosting the track and field portion of the games, York University will also host the tennis competition in what is being called the Canadian Tennis Centre, known locally as the Rexall Centre.
Key dates are:
- July 10 to 16 for the Pan Am Games tennis competition,
- July 21 to 25 for the Pan Am Games track and field competition,
- August 10 to 14 for the Parapan Am Games track and field competition.
Visit the York University’s PanAm 2015 website for more information.