SPORTS

Pan Am Games: 3 things to know for Friday

07/09/2015 11:56 EDT | Updated 07/09/2016 05:59 EDT
1. Let the games begin

All eyes will be on Toronto Friday at 7 p.m. ET, as the 2015 Pan Am Games begin with the opening ceremonies at the Rogers Centre, also known as the Pan Am Dome, or the Pan Am Ceremonies venue. The opening ceremony will be highlighted by a a performance from Canada's own Cirque du Soleil, and will celebrate sports and culture of the Western Hemisphere. Athletes from the participating countries will also take part in the parade of nations, while the cauldron will officially be lit, commencing the beginning of the biggest sporting event to ever take place in Toronto. Canoer and Olympic bronze medallist Mark Oldershaw will be the flag bearer for the host nation. 

2. Diving commences 

Friday will feature the beginning of diving for men and women at the Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatics Centre in Scarborough. Canada's Meaghan Benfeito will look to improve upon her 2011 Pan Am bronze medal in the 10-metre platform, as the preliminaries take place at 1 p.m. ET. Benfeito, 26, has been very successful in the synchronized diving 10m event, earning a bronze at the 2012 London Olympics, and a silver at the 2011 Pan Ams. Meanwhile, the men's 3m springboard competition will begin at 10 a.m., featuring Canadians Phillipe Gagne and Francois Imbeau-Dulac. The finals of both events take place Saturday. 

3. Tennis quest begins

Toronto native Brayden Schnurr will begin his tournament on centre court at the Canadian Tennis Centre as play commences in the men's singles draw Friday morning. The 20-year-old, who plays for the University of North Carolina Tarheels, will face Venezuelan Luis D. Martinez on center court after Jean-Yves Aubone of the United States plays Mexico's Hans Hach. Aubone and Hach's match will begin at 10 a.m. Eleven other matches will be contested over the six other courts Friday morning.

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