The Pan Am Games have officially closed up shop (and we can't wait for the Para Pan Am Games to start) — so it's time to take a look part on a stellar couple of weeks in Toronto.
From the star-filled opening ceremonies to the incredible performances by Canadian athletes across the board (there were literally just five sports in which we didn't medal), the Games have been filled with excitement. Here's a few of our favourite moments:
Those Opening Ceremonies
Donovan Bailey drops into the Pan Am Centre during the opening ceremonies, like it's no big deal
Honouring diverse and unique celebs — everyone from Chris Hadfield to Yann Martel to Pinball Clemons to Bobby Orr to mom and son duo Marita Payne-Wiggins and Andrew Wiggins (who knew?). Plus, Steve Nash, who we can’t wait to see lead Team Canada at next summer’s Olympics
CN Tower shows off its fire power
As more than one person put it, “if we can do that from the CN Tower, why is it not happening every week?” The nightly fireworks at Nathan Phillips Square were pretty sweet too.
The Viral Moments
Like the Toronto sign the city fell in love with
We couldn’t be happier to hear it’ll stay a permanent fixture — albeit in different locations all the time.
Norm Kelly’s Twitter domination
Many in Toronto were already familiar with the councillor’s stellar social media mix of hilarity and information, but he went to a next level over the last two weeks, fortuitously coinciding with #TO2015.
Running through the 6
And of course, his beef with Meek Mill
The Pan Am Pup
He was on a mission to be photographed with someone from each Pan Am country (and made it to 34 of 41!)
Toronto’s attitude adjustment about the Games
Polls showing that a quarter of people in the city went to an event and almost half of them followed on TV. Even the HOV lanes turned out not to be so bad after all.
The Athletic Performances
The first of what would become 78 gold medals (a record for Canada at the Pan Am Games) — women’s kayaking.
Ellie Black’s medal domination
She’s the most decorated athlete of the Games, with her hardware including three golds, as well as a silver and bronze. Plus, she’s classy, publicly congratulating flagbearer Kia Nurse on the honour, despite a public outcry about Black’s “snub.”
Another big winner? Water skier Whitney McClintock, who came away with four medals
Women’s basketball gold, a historic first (but definitely not the last) for Canada
All hail Kia Nurse!
The enduring appeal and talent of Rosie MacLennan
She came back from a concussion to prove she's as gold medal-worthy as ever.
Damian Warner's record-destroying decathlon gold
Not to mention all his support for his fellow athletes via Twitter.
A defending men's baseball win from extra innings
Jasmin Glaesser’s ridiculous sprint to win the women’s road race
And of course, Canada's new hero, Andre De Grasse
Gold medals in 100m and 200m. We're not worthy.
The amazing Panamania acts (which will continue in August)
According to Twitter, the most discussed performers were Wyclef, Lights, Serena Ryder, Death From Above 1979 and Kiesza.
It might have been Wyclef's daughter who clinched it though:
Meanwhile, the Flaming Lips put all of our feelings into a balloon
Kanye. Yeah, we said it.
And most of all, the incredibly hard work of 23,000 volunteers, who made Toronto look even better than usual
And while all of those events were incredible, the best is yet to come, with the Parapan Am Games, starting up August 7. Bring on the mad talent, the murderball, the boccia and power lifting — and So. Many. More. Concerts.
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