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Celebrations to mark 2-year countdown to Pan Am Games

07/08/2013 04:58 EDT | Updated 09/07/2013 05:12 EDT
Pan Am organizers will mark the two-year countdown to the 2015 Games in a series of kickoff events Wednesday that CBC Toronto will cover with a special broadcast from Markham.

The two-year countdown will include celebrations in communities from across the Golden Horseshoe slated to host Pan Am Games events.

Each participating community — from Hamilton to Oshawa — will host a different event as part of Wednesday's celebrations. At many of the events, Canadian athletes will be on hand to entertain the crowd and hold skills workshops in the 36 Pan Am sports including volleyball, soccer and badminton.

CBC's Anne-Marie Mediwake will host CBC News Toronto's Wednesday show from the new Markham Pan Am/Parapan Am Centre, which will host the water polo, table tennis and badminton events.

Joining Mediwake in Markham from the CBC team will be Scott Russell of CBC Sports Weekend.

Sun Jian Fei, a professional table tennis player and former Chinese national team member, will entertain the crowds in Markham with his skills.

Other highlights of Wednesday's kickoff events include:

- Downtown Toronto Top BMX bikers will perform aerial tricks on a closed-off street at Commerce Court, 25 King St. W., at 11 a.m. At 1 p.m. Olympic silver medallist Jason Burnett will perform his trampoline routine at the same location.

- Welland At the Welland Pan Am Flatwater Centre Mark Oldershaw (2012 Olympic bronze medallist in canoe sprint) will race again against K.C. Fraser (2011 Pan Am gold medallist in kayak sprint).

- Oshawa 2011 Pan Am gold medallists Mary Spencer and Mandy Bujold will put up their dukes and spar at the Oshawa Civic Square at 10:45 a.m.

- Ajax Baseball fans will want to check out the softball clinic at the Ajax Pan Am ballpark on Audley street. Former major leaguers Rob Butler, Warren Sawkiw and Nigel Wilson will be there. The clinic starts at 9:30 a.m., with celebrity baseball and softball exhibition games set to get underway at 11 a.m.

Other events will take place in Mississauga, Hamilton, Caledon and Milton.

Click here for a complete schedule.

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