But by the time the Pan American Games wrapped up Sunday, Toronto had been won over by the excitement of the worldwide competition with some calling for the city to make a pitch for the Olympics.
Several bids have already been launched: Budapest, Boston, Rome, Paris and Hamburg, Germany.
Canada’s Adam van Koeverden accepts his bronze medal for the K1 1000m final at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Welland, Ont., Monday, July 13, 2015. “I’m not an expert, but a big, big percentage of what we have now would be acceptable”, he said.
Aubut alluded to discussions he’s had with Tory during the Pan Am Games.
“My view and the view of my board is that the Pan Am Games paved the way for an Olympic bid”. Looking ahead with an eye toward the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil rounded out the top-three spots with 141 total medals, including 41 golds.
Marcel Aubut, head of the COC, told a press conference he wants to see Canada’s largest city be an official candidate by September 15, the deadline set by the worldwide Olympic Committee.
His words come on the eve of the United States Olympic Committee’s (USOC) announcement on the future of Boston’s underfire bid, revealed exclusively by insidethegames yesterday, with Los Angeles considered a possible late replacement.
Toronto could suit some interests in North America, which has not hosted a summer games since Atlanta in 1996.
Most of the Pan Am Games’ $2.5-billion budget comes from the federal, provincial and Toronto governments, with ticket sales expected to cover about $40 million. About 50 percent of residents were born outside Canada, and city hall figures say 45 percent speak a first language other than English or French.
Toronto would win transit improvements and enhanced social housing by hosting an worldwide sporting spectacle like the Olympics, insists Mayor John Tory.
Tory said that the city will need to engage in “broad consultation” with members of the public, sports organizations and members of the business community before a decision is made.
Tory may have a hard time.
While grass roots opposition exists for a Toronto Olympic bid, recent unscientific polls in the media show overwhelming support for the city’s third attempt since 1996. Russian Federation spent about $51 billion to organize the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Toronto’s Pan Am Games also had a mascot, Pachi the Porcupine, who was vastly superior to the weird mascot in London 2012.
“This is the moment”.
“There are many individual stories, but we have done one thing very well, and that’s inspired Canada in such a significant way, and Canadians have inspired our athletes in such a significant way, that we know that the road to Rio for many of these athletes will bring great things”, he said. “We have a world cup to prepare for in 2018, and the girls effectively were talking about starting our Tokyo program in this game”.