SPORTS

Last piece of track has been laid at Toronto's Pan American Games stadium

05/07/2015 05:03 EDT | Updated 05/07/2016 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - Molly Killingbeck knelt to help roll out the final piece of track at the Pan American Games stadium Thursday.

It was a full-circle moment for the Olympic silver medallist.

Killingbeck is the Toronto 2015 organizing committee's manager for athletics, and the new $45.5 million CIBC Pan Am and Parapan Am Athletics Stadium at York University is steps from the old York track she once shared with Canada's top sprinters.

"It is pretty amazing, there are a lot of chapters that have been written here," Killingbeck said.

The stadium, which will also host the opening ceremonies for the Parapan Ams, is one of the marquee venues of the Games with seating for 12,500 people. The red rubberized track was designed and laid by Mondo, an Italian company that has provided the tracks for all the Olympic stadiums since the 1976 Games in Montreal.

"It was important for our perspective that we have this quality of track, for athletes preparing and going to compete in Rio (Olympics) in 2016 and beyond," said Allen Vansen, TO2015's executive vice-president for operations, sport and venue management.

Killingbeck, who was a member of Canada's 4x400-metre relay team that won silver at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, said she would have loved to have trained in such a venue.

"We probably would have had better performances, plus the consistency of having dedicated space where you can train and compete," said Killingbeck, wearing a hardhat and reflective safety vest. "A lot of times we travelled overseas because just didn't have the right facilities, so it certainly would have cut down on the amount of times we travelled overseas.

"And it would have been a great opportunity to have other athletes from around the world compete here in Canada on our home turf. That's the missing piece."

The Pan Am Games run July 10-27, while the Parapan Am Games are Aug. 7-15.

MORE:cpSports