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Copyright Graeme MacKay. Please check for MacKay's posting and publication rules by clicking here.
The Hamilton Spectator
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Saturday November 7, 2009
After months of energetic international lobbying, the 2015 Pan Am bid team worked yesterday to put some local sizzle into the $1.4-billion initiative.

"We've been kind of low profile, now it's time to build passion for the Games," said bid group member Alexandra Orlando, a Pan Am and Olympic gymnast. "It's been kind of dark times due to the economy, now we need to shake things up and start looking forward."

Orlando spoke after a panel discussion at the Canadian Club of Toronto where she, bid chair David Peterson and Canadian Olympic Committee CEO Chris Rudge fleshed out all the benefits the 42-nation showcase would bring to the Toronto-Hamilton bid.

More than 30 current and former athletes, including Olympic rower Marnie McBean, gymnast Karen Cockburn and track cyclist Curt Harnett, sat at tables for a noon business lunch to drum home what the Games mean to Toronto.

Rudge struck a responsive chord, saying it's time for a win after five international losses -- two Toronto Olympic bids and a World's Fair try plus Steeltown's two Commonwealth Games misses.

He stressed southern Ontario had fallen behind most of Canada in providing sports and recreation opportunities and focused on the velodrome slated for Hamilton as one which could be dynamic in serving elite and everyday athletes.

A leader of a grassroots coalition calling itself No Games Toronto asked how $1.4 billion for fun and games could be justified when homeless people were dying in the streets. Peterson stressed those ills can be addressed more permanently when you have the kind of prosperity the Games will create. Continued....


It's rah-rah time for 2015 Pan Am Games bid team
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