August 10, 2014 – The one-year countdown to the opening of the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games has begun. To mark the occasion, Toronto 2015 Parapan Am organizers hosted a gathering at their Toronto headquarters on Aug. 7 to debut the new video — Are You Ready? — of para-athletes training to the beat of Electric Pow Wow, a track from A Tribe called Red’s 2012 self-titled debut album.
The video featuring Canadian para-athletes David Eng, Danielle Kisser and Jaye Milley was given its public debut that evening on the Roger’s Centre Jumbotron for Toronto Blue Jays fans, with para-cyclist Milley throwing out the first pitch of the game.
After welcoming everyone to the traditional territory, Mississaugas of the New Credit Chief Bryan LaForme began his remarks to the afternoon gathering by remarking, “What a fantastic video. If you want to see true athletes the video has them. These guys and gals are tremendous.”
Chief LaForme continued, “Just as naming a Host First Nation was an important step in making the Games more inclusive, honouring the achievements of Parapan athletes by hosting a stand alone Parapan Am Games shows TORONTO 2015 is committed to staging both the best and the largest Parapan Am Games yet.”
Chief LaForme said the Games “affords a prime opportunity to show we care as a society about making our society more accessible for those with disabilities and facing special challenges. If we build sports infrastructure that is accessible to everyone after the Games are over than we will all be winners. Making the Games inclusive and accessible meshes with the Mississaugas of the New Credit’s vision for the Games as one rooted in cultural sharing and respect for all people.”
“The Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, as Host First Nation, welcomes the TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games to its traditional territory. We look forward to forging new friendships and an ongoing relationship with all the athletes, coaches and families involved in the TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games.”
David Eng, co-captain of the Men’s wheelchair basketball team and featured in the video took the podium next.
“This is really exciting for me. We are a year away and we will be here on home soil in Canada. I’m a proud member of my team and for the first time Team Canada will be moved here to Toronto beginning in September and training for the Parapan Games fulltime, everyday, getting ready for these Games.” Over the cheers from the crowd, Eng added, “We will be ready. I’m just going to keep watching the video to keep motivated.
The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10–26 and the Parapan American Games August 7–15. This will be the first Parapan Am Games hosted by Canada and organizers are promising the biggest and best yet. The video Are You Ready? can be viewed by visiting www.toronto2015.org.