Toronto says goodbye to Pan Ams, eyes Olympic bid

Sun Jul 26, 2015 5:09pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

TORONTO (Reuters) - As Toronto prepared to say goodbye to the Pan American Games on Sunday, the Canadian Olympic chief officially kicked off a campaign to convince the city to bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Basking in the glow of a hugely successful Pan Am Games, a bullish Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) president Marcel Aubut presented an enthusiastic sales pitch ahead of the closing ceremonies saying that it was Toronto's time.

"It is time to make it crystal clear. I am officially declaring that I will use the full power of my office to lead and advocate for Toronto's candidacy to hold the 2024 Olympic Games," Aubut said during the Pan Am Games closing press conference. "This is it."

"My view and the view of my board is that the Pan Am Games paved the way for an Olympic bid.

"I think it is time that Toronto, the fourth biggest city in North America, shows to the world that they are also a global city."

But getting Toronto mayor John Tory and a cautious city council excited about bringing another multi-billion dollar sporting event to the region will be a tough sell.

A Toronto economic development committee last year unanimously rejected the idea of another Olympic bid.

Canada's financial hub has failed in two recent bids for the Summer Games, losing to Atlanta for 1996 and Beijing for 2008.   Continued...

Canada players celebrate after receiving their silver medals after the women's baseball gold medal match during the 2015 Pan Am Games at Ajax Pan Am Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports