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Pan Am Games are great news for UTSC

WE GOT IT!!! The news that Toronto won the bid to host the 2015 Pan Am Games is great for UTSC. The campus community celebrates in the Student Centre. (All photos by Ken Jones.)

The noise was deafening, and there were hugs, cheers and “high-fives” all around the U of T Scarborough campus tonight as the community heard the magic word-- “Toronto” -- named the winner of the bid to host the Pan Am Games of 2015. (To see more photos, click here.)

The crowd of students, faculty and staff in the Student Centre celebrated the announcement, which will mean great news and additional facilities for our campus. The decision was announced in Guadalajara, Mexico, where delegates from the voting countries chose Toronto over the other competing cities, Bogota (Colombia) and Lima (Peru).

The news that Toronto will be the host city is a huge windfall for the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) campus, whose facility plans have been described as the “crown jewel” of the Games. This news makes possible a partnership to create a state-of-the art athletic facility, with plans for two Olympic-sized, 52-metre swimming pools, a 10-metre diving tank, multipurpose gymnasiums, a running track, racquet courts, fitness and training areas.

“This is awesome!” said third-year student Humaira Saleem, 20. “This is a historic moment for our campus. It will be great for future students who can use all of these venues long after the Games are over. Our campus really needs a swimming pool, along with more athletic facilities, so this news is absolutely fantastic.”

“We’re so excited and everybody’s feeling the rush from the news about this phenomenal opportunity,” said Professor Franco Vaccarino, principal of UTSC. “Not only is this great for the future of our campus, but the Pan Am Games will bring many added benefits to the surrounding community as well.”

Enhanced transportation links, particularly the creation of a rapid transit line into the campus, local jobs, and access to first-class facilities for health, wellness and athletics for future students and the neighbourhood community, will all be legacies of the Games, he said.

The new facilities are expected to be completed by 2014 through a partnership between the city, the provincial and federal governments to deliver a world-class athletics facility here at UTSC.

The Pan American Games are a multi-sport event, held every four years between competitors from more than 40 nations in South America, North America and the Caribbean. The last round of games was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2007, and Guadalajara, Mexico will host the games in 2011. Toronto will then get its time in the spotlight in 2015.

For more details, click here.



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