Top 7 moments of the Pan Am Games opening ceremony
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Jul 11, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

Top 7 moments of the Pan Am Games opening ceremony

The opening ceremonies of the Pan Am Games Friday combined the cultures of the GTA and the Americas to create a spectacle welcoming 40 nations

OurWindsor.Ca

The opening ceremonies of the Pan Am Games Friday combined the cultures of the GTA and the Americas to create a spectacle welcoming 40 nations and territories and kicking off the largest sporting event this country has ever held. Here are seven of our favourite moments:

Daredevil Donovan

Canadian Olympic track champ Donovan Bailey reunited with his 1996 Atlanta Games gold medal-winning relay teammates for a dramatic (mostly pretaped) leg of the Pan Am torch relay. Sending the flame up the CN Tower to Bruny Surin, Surin then takes a run around the Edge Walk before passing off to Bailey who pulled on a hood and, as the video would have us believe, leaped off the 553.33-metre structure. While Bailey did not make the jump when the stunt was filmed weeks ago, he did alight from the Rogers Centre ceiling with the Pan Am flame in hand.

Volunteers got moves

The 23,000-strong force is said to be the largest volunteer deployment for non-military reasons in Canadian history, and this gang can boogie. During the entire parade of nations, rows of smiling volunteers shimmied and sashayed through choreographed dance routines.

Bare knees for national pride

Team Bermuda donned red Bermuda shorts, of course.

Turbocharged Cirque du Soleil spectacle

The elaborate feats of agility and grace from the 625 performers were the highlight of the entire ceremony. The centrepiece of the centrepiece might have been the acrobatic performers flipping and somersaulting across a line of fire blazing down the centre of the stage. Real fire. Either that or the BMX tricks.

Athletes as stage design

Thousands of LED lights, using technology developed by Montreal-based PixMob, attached to athletes made them part of the light show, as the colourful orbs glowed in time to the music.

Like mother, not quite like son

In the final leg of the torch relay, former Pan Am and Olympic medal-winning sprinter Marita Payne-Wiggins handed the flame off to her son, NBA rookie of the year Andrew Wiggins. Though the young basketball star and Toronto native won’t be playing for Team Canada in these Games, his inclusion was welcomed by the cheering crowd.

Hometown crowd

At 719-strong, this is the largest Team Canada ever fielded at a multi-sport event. They got the loudest applause when they walked onto the floor to end the Parade of Nations.

Toronto Star

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