Pan Am party over, Toronto looks ahead to Olympic bash

Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:22pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

TORONTO (Reuters) - A city that had been largely indifferent to the Pan American Games arrival did not want the party to end on Sunday, as Toronto bid a dazzling goodbye to the largest multi-sport event ever staged in Canada.

The mood was lifted by the prospects of an even bigger party in 2024 with Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) president Marcel Aubut earlier in the day officially kicking off a campaign to convince city officials to bid for the Summer Olympics.

"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."

For 16 days Toronto had a taste of the Olympic experience and ate it up with gusto, filling stadiums and arenas eager to be part of the Pan Am excitement.

More than one million tickets were sold as Canadian athletes gave locals plenty of reason to come out to cheer.

The United States, as they have at every Pan Am Games since 1955, finished at the top of medals table with 103 gold and 265 overall but this was Canada's moment to shine, finishing second with a record 78 gold and 217 total medals.

Before the party moved into high gear there were a few housekeeping chores to get through including the lowering of Olympic and Pan Am flags and the handover to Lima, Peru, which will host the next Pan Am Games in 2019.   Continued...

Jul 26, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Fireworks shoot out of the CN Tower during the closing ceremony for the 2015 Pan Am Games. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports