Legendary sprinter and Games ambassador Donovan Bailey unveiled the Toronto 2015 Pan Am / Parapan am Games podium model recently.
Bailey’s gold-medal accomplishments at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games in the 100m race and the 4x100m relay were not only Canada’s greatest moments in track and field but one of the greatest moments in Canadian sport history. He says he looks forward to seeing Canadian track and field athletes in action and on the podium this summer.
One of those outstanding Canadian athletes is sprinter Andre De Grasse from Markham. De Grasse has been running some of the fastest times in the world this year and the fastest times for a Canadian, since the likes of Bailey himself and fellow Olympian Bruny Surin.
Bailey revealed where more than 4,000 athletes will be rewarded with their gold, silver and bronze medals during the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.
“Seeing the podium brought back incredible memories – it signifies winning and representing Canada during my storied career,” said Bailey.
“This will be especially meaningful for the athletes to compete at home and stand on this podium in front of friends and family. It will be a memory they will cherish for the rest of their lives.”
The Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario (CDC), a supporter of the Games, constructed the 157 podiums. The CDC has long played a role in the sporting community in Ontario, having been involved with the construction of most of the Games’ existing and new legacy venues.
Designed in-house by the Games Organizing Committee (TO2015), the podiums are inspired by the official Games motto, United We Play! The design brings this concept to life by celebrating the athletes’ diversity and achievement through sport.
The pattern of sport pictograms on the podium’s face represents the sport disciplines being contested for medals and the playful, irregular shapes and vibrant colours reflect the Games logo. The trilingual motto, which appears on the top of the podium, is a bold statement on the shared spirit and inclusivity of the Games.
Each podium can accommodate up to four standing athletes per position or two athletes using a wheelchair. Sixty ramps have also been constructed to provide access to the podium.
Canada is sending more than 700 athletes to the Games this summer. With many other countries sending their best athletes, reaching the podium this summer will require Team Canada to perform at its best.