Pan Am 2015 Welcomes Team USA with a Flag Raising Ceremony

Team USA during the welcome ceremony celebration at Pan Am Athletes’ Village
Team USA during the welcome ceremony celebration at Pan Am Athletes’ Village

These days Toronto has become the center for sports and culture, bringing together 41 Pan American Sports Organization member nations to celebrate the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. The Pan Am Games are the world’s third largest international multi-sport Games; they are only surpassed in size and scope by the Olympic Summer Games and the Asian Games. Marking the third Pan-American games hosted by Canada, and the first in the province of Ontario, the Games are being held at 51 venues with more than 6,000 athletes competing in 36 Pan Am sports. For the first time, the entire Olympic program is being contested at the Pan American Games in 2015 — the Pan Am Games are especially important for numerous sports that have direct Olympic qualification on the line.

The 2015 U.S. Pan American Team that is competing at the XVII Pan American Games in Toronto is comprised of 331 men and 302 women, which includes 111 Olympians, 38 Olympic medalists and 20 Olympic champions. Headlining the roster is swimmer Natalie Coughlin (Vallejo, Calif.), who, with 12 medals, is one of the three most decorated women in U.S. Olympic history. Also highlighting the list of accomplished U.S. athletes is six-time Olympic medalist, swimmer Allison Schmitt (Canton, Mich.) and five-time Olympic medalist in shooting Kim Rhode (El Monte, Calif.), who owns three gold medals.

To build the excitement around the team’s outstanding performance, the U.S. Mission to Canada led by Ambassador Bruce Heyman is supporting the Team USA both during the events, and through a social media campaign.

U.S. Ambassador Heyman and Vicki Heyman along with Consul General Jim Dickmeyer walked with Team USA athletes on July 09,2015 to watch the American flag wave high before he attends a multitude of USA sporting events, meeting with the athletes and giving them a warm welcome to Canada and all the city has to offer. After the U.S. National Anthem was played during the ceremony, the U.S. flag was raised and Pachi, the official mascot of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, engaged Team USA in a dance and entertainment activities. After the ceremony, Ambassador Heyman and Vicki Heyman toured the Athletes’ Village and visited the Team USA house.