That opening ceremony of the 2015 Pan-Am Games was truly remarkable and showed why sport is so beautiful. Enjoy the next two weeks of events, ladies and gentlemen. This has been Bassil Thayabeh. Signing off. Good night.
Make sure to continue checking back at VAVEL USA for all the latest news and happenings in the world of sports, and more specifically, updates of the Pan-Am Games.
That is all for today's coverage of the 2015 Pan-American Games opening ceremony, folks! We hope you enjoyed our updates of this historic event.
With the opening ceremony now closed, it is now time to get excitied for the next two weeks of multi-sport events in Toronto!
This was the moment of truth as Steve Nash lit the cauldron (@panam2015).
As the opening ceremony comes to a close, the job of the performers is now over. It is now onto the athletes to continue the celebration of the Pan American Games.
With the lighting of the cauldron, the CN Tower lets out a huge fireworks show into the late night and dark Toronto skyline.
Nash has ran out of the Pan Am Dome and to the bottom of the CN Tower, lighting the cauldron.
Wiggins passes it onto his Canada basketball general manager and Canadian great Steve Nash.
NBA superstar and rookie of the year, Minnesota Timberwolves player Andrew Wiggins receives the torch from his mother.
The flame is being passed between Olympians Charmaine Crooks, Jillian Richardson, Molly Killingbeck and Marita Payne-Wiggins.
You better believe it. The opening of the games is now twitter official.
"I solemnly swear the Pan Am Games, open!" THE 2015 PAN AMERICAN GAMES ARE OFFICIALLY UNDERWAY!
Now, the Pan American oath is being read on be-half of all the judges: "In the name of all the judges and officials, I promise that we shall officiate in these Olympic Games with complete impartiality, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them in the true spirit of sportsmanship."
The Pan American oath is being read on be-half of all the athletes: "In the name of all the competitors I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our teams."
Several Canadian icons receive a rowdy round of applause from the audience as they carry the Olympic flag up to the stage, including Chris Hadfield, Craig Kielburger, Mark Messier, Bobby Orr and Michael 'Pinball' Clemens.
Canada's women's football team gather for a picture before the opening ceremony, holding their national flag (@stephlabbe1).
Toronto is really putting on a show during this opening ceremony. Not many opening ceremonies for any sporting event can quite match this one. A magnificent job by everyone involved.
This was the scene of Canada flag bearer Mark Oldershaw leading the host nation out onto the floor of the Pan Am Dome (@hudsonsbay).
This was the scene outside of the Pan Am Dome a couple hours ago, prior to the start of the opening ceremony. The CN Tower let out a show of fireworks in a beautiful manner (@ElFutbol).
The show continues in entertaining fashion... (@TO2015).
Cirque du Soleil putting on a daring but magnificent show as the stage is set a light with fire. An entertaining performance (@TO2015).
The stage is again filled with action as the ceremony continues (@TO2015).
All the athletes taking part in these games have now taken their seats, waiting for the Opening Ceremony to pick up again.
Team USA athletes helping out with the dancing during the ceremony (@Halton_Photog).
This is the scene in Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto right now, taking in the Opening Ceremony live broadcast (@TorontoComms).
The largest contingent of any nation coming into these games, Canada are filing 720 athletes through the doors and into the stadium.
Canada are being led out by flag bearer Mark Oldershaw, C-1 canoer.
A BIG ROAR IN THE STADIUM FOR THE HOST CANADIANS!
Venezuela being led out by flag bearer Marvin Blanco.
Uruguay are the next nation through the doors.
Trinidad and Tobago are on the scene.
Suriname have come out.
By the size of Saint Lucia flag bearer Jordan Augier, you'd think he is a basketball player, but he is a swimmer.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are out next.
Interesting music choices being played for the presentation of each nation, very high beat and makes you want to get up and dance.
The Dominican Republic are the next nation out of the gates!
Luis Rivera leads Puerto Rica into the stadium.
Peru are out next, led by squash player Diego Elias.
If you're wondering where the Canadians are, the host nation always walks out last and we are not too far away from that moment.
With a big smile on her face, Paola Longoria leads out Mexico.
Gareth Henry dancing out of the gates with the Jamaican flag.
Great to see the enthusiasm from the Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands athletes back-to-back, despite low contingents.
Kevin Mejia Castillo leading out Honduras.
Haiti are right behind them.
Onica George waving the flag of Guyana.
Guatemala in their white and baby blue track suits are walking in.
The six athletes from Grenada are here.
The United States are on the scene! Shooter Kim Rodhe is the flag bearer for the Americans!
18-year-old swimmer Marcelo Acosta leading in El Salvador.
Ecuador are on their way.
Cuba coming in now.
Roberto Sawyers leading Costa Rica out of the gates.
Squash player Miguel Angel Rodriguez is the flag bearer for Colombia!
Isidora Jimenez leading in Chile.
Brazil are of course hoping to put on a good showing ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics to be held next year in Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil have a large contingent up, 600 athletes! Swimmer Thiago Pereira leading the way.
Tennis player Darian King leading the way for Barbados.
The Bahamas, led by Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace.
Aruba are up! Philippe van Aanholt carrying the flag.
Next are Antigua and Barbuda. Flag bearer is Daniel Bailey.
The first nation to arrive into the stadium are Argentina. The flag bearer is Walter Perez.
THE ATHLETES HAVE ARRIVED!
The Canadian national anthem is being played for the host nation while the flag is being raised to the rafters.
The Canadian flag is now being brought onto the stage.
Yes, that is former Canadian sprinter Donovan Bailey descending onto the Rogers Centre roof before being brought down to the floor of the venue and handing the torch off (@alison_smedley).
Donovan Bailey drops in with the torch in hand to the ceremony, he passes it to 15-year-old diver Faith Zacharias, who places it on the stand for the ceremony.
Fireworks have been lit and have spread smoke on top of CN Tower outside the venue, creating a replica of the Pan Am torch.
An inside look at the opening ceremony, happening right now! (@robinlevinson).
The theme of the Pan Am Games Opening Ceremony is “From Dream to Reality.”
THE OPENING CEREMONY FOR THE 2015 PAN-AM GAMES IS UNDER WAY!
After 22 weeks of rehearsals, we are getting closer to watching Cirque perform at the Pan Am Ceremonies Venue. Should be a great show!
The main venue for these Games and the setting for today's ceremony is the Pan Am Dome, also known as the Rogers Centre in Toronto. 45,000 people are already seated and awaiting the athletes to arrive. We are 12 minutes away from getting underway.
Canada's Pan-Am football team gathers, ready for the opening ceremony. The men's competition will be a U-22 event (@mbabouli16).
As everyone around the Americas gets ready to celebrate this coming together of sport, we are 25 minutes away from the opening ceremony!
In case you didn't know, Michael Jordan won gold at the '83 Pan Am Games as a member of the USA men's national basketball team.
Here is a fact for you: Pachi the Porcupine is the the official mascot of the 2015 Toronto Pan-Am Games. Pachi was the result of a contest that was held for children under the age of 16 to submit their ideas. 4000 drawings and ideas were submitted and a shortlist of six designs were announced in April of 2013. Voting was made open to the public and on July 17, 2013, Pachi was announced as the winner.
The torch relay has gone on a 41-day journey after officially being lit in May of this year in Mexico. It has gone through a total of 130 communities and has been carried by an estimated 3,000 torchbearers, traveling 20,000 kilometres (12,000 miles). After the relay began in Toronto on May 30, 2015, it will come to an end tonight, again in Toronto, to signal the opening of the Games.
Antigua and Barbuda (5), Argentina (482), Aruba (18), Bahamas (18), Barbados (15), Belize (4), Bermuda (17), Bolivia (14), Brazil (600), British Virgin Islands (6), Canada (720), Cayman Islands (5), Chile (235), Colombia (272), Costa Rica (74), Cuba (311), Dominica (2), Dominican Republic (205), Ecuador (162), El Salvador (47), Grenada (6), Guatemala (101), Guyana (24), Haiti (9), Honduras (10), Jamaica (65), Mexico (510), Nicaragua (34), Panama (35), Paraguay (29), Peru (158), Puerto Rico (208), Saint Lucia (8), Saint Kitts and Nevis (9), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (1), Suriname (9), Trinidad and Tobago (71), United States (623), Uruguay (107), Venezuela (276), Virgin Islands (9).
With 41 nations set to compete in these games, it is a drop from the 42 nations that competed at the 2011 games, after the Netherlands Olympic Committee was dissolved. The numbers beside each nation represents the numbers of participants that have qualified.
The 36 sports that will be contested at these summer games are as follows: Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Beach volleyball, Bowling, Boxing, Canoeing, Cycling, Diving, Equestrian, Fencing, Field Hockey, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Handball, Judo, Karate, Modern pentathlon, Racquetball, Roller sports, Rowing, Rugby Sevens, Sailing, Shooting, Softball, Squash, Swimming, Synchronized swimming, Table tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Triathlon, Volleyball, Water polo, Water skiing, Weightlifting, Wrestling.
The program will hold 364 events across 36 different sports, including 28 that will be held in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Canoe slalom, golf, women’s baseball, C-1 canoe, and rugby sevens will all be making their Pan-American Games debut.
Another record is set to be broken these Games, with 45% of the competitors expected to be women. This will be the most for any multi-sport event in the world.
The Games will mark the largest multi-sport event to be hosted on Canadian soil in the country’s history, with 6,135 athletes registered, representing 41 National Olympic Committees (NOCs).
This summer’s games are scheduled to be held from July 10 to July 26, 2015 in the worldwide popular city of Toronto in Southern Ontario. However, preliminary rounds for several events have already begun from July 7, 2015. 2015 will be the third Pan-Am games hosted by Canada, and the first in the province of Ontario. Venues are in Toronto and several cities in the surrounding area, including Hamilton and Mississauga.
The Pan-Am Games are a major international multi-sport event that celebrates summer sports, governed by the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO).
Before getting down to today’s business, let us give you a quick run down of how these games will be held, how the next couple weeks will play out and a little history and background of the event. The 2015 Pan American Games are officially named as the XVII Pan American Games and commonly known as the Toronto 2015 Pan-Am Games.
Stay tuned right here at VAVEL USA as we bring you LIVE coverage of all the day’s happenings and of the opening ceremony itself. Wherever you may be in the world, do not miss your opportunity to follow this historic event.
Hello and good evening, everyone! Welcome to the much anticipated and exciting 2015 Pan American Games opening ceremony from the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place on Friday July 10, 2015, beginning at 6:45 PM EST. I am your host for the night, Bassil Thayabeh.