By Emily Goddard

The IPC and APC have said Toronto is the "best prepared city yet" for a Parapan American Games ©WikipediaThe International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Americas Paralympic Committee (APC) have said Toronto is the "best prepared city yet" for a Parapan American Games ahead of this year's event.

The comments came at the conclusion of the final planning visit to the Canadian city for the Toronto 2015 Games, with just under five months to go.

The officials, who included APC President Jose Luis Campo and IPC chief executive Xavier Gonzalez, toured competition venues and reviewed plans for the event, which will be staged from August 7 to 15.

"The Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games will be fifth edition of the Games and with five months to go they are in fantastic shape, the best prepared yet," Campo said.

"We have finished touring the venues, many of which we have seen rise from plans on paper to spectacular theatres for sport which I am sure the athletes will love competing in."

Xavier Gonzalez believes Toronto 2015 will do for the Parapan American Games what London did for the Paralympic Games in 2012 ©Getty ImagesXavier Gonzalez believes Toronto 2015 will do for the Parapan American Games what London did for the Paralympic Games in 2012 ©Getty Images


Gonzalez predicted the success of Toronto 2015 will be similar to that of London 2012, which IPC President Sir Philip Craven described as "the greatest Paralympic Games ever".

"I fully believe that the Toronto 2015 Parapan America Games will be historic, attracting a record number of spectators, athletes and competing countries," Gonzalez explained.

"In my view Toronto this August will do for the Parapan American Games what London did for the Paralympic Games in 2012, that is how good I believe they will be.

"They will be Canada's biggest Parasport event in terms of participants and number of sports since the 1976 Paralympic Games which were also held in Toronto.

"In addition to being a fantastic sporting spectacle, the Games have already started to and will continue to provide a number of legacies for the city and the wider area.

"The Games are accessible for all, not just for the athletes but also for the spectators with every single venue having accessible seating and benefitting from accessible transport links.

"In May the first ever Accessibility Guide for a Pan American and Parapan American Games will be published outlining all the accessible services and spaces that will provided for spectators during both Games."

Some 1,600 athletes from a record 28 countries are expected to compete across 15 sports at the Toronto 2015 Parapan America Games, which also acts as a qualifier for the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

Among those athletes will be Brazilian swimmer Daniel Dias, who is a multiple Paralympic, Parapan America Games and World Championships gold medallist.

Daniel Dias will be among the 1,600 athletes competing at this year's Parapan American Games ©Getty ImagesDaniel Dias will be among the 1,600 athletes competing at this year's Parapan American Games ©Getty Images


He will be hoping for a repeat of his performance at Guadalajara 2011, where he won a record 11 gold medals, topping the podium in every single event he competed in.

"I'm looking forward to being in Toronto," Dias, who currently holds 10 individual world records, said.

"The Parapan Am Games are very special to me.

"I have fond memories of my first Games since I had the chance to compete in front of the Brazilian fans in Rio de Janeiro 2007.

"Then, four years later, I left Guadalajara with 11 gold medals.

"So I'm really excited about Toronto and I want to enjoy my time there."

Tickets for the Parapan American Games go on sale on March 23 and are priced from CAD20 (£11/$16/€15) to CAD35 (£19/$28/€26) with half-price tickets for people under 16 and over 65.

Gonzalez said he is confident that Toronto 2015 will break all ticketing records.

"I know demand for Pan Am Games tickets has been unprecedented and those who have missed out on tickets in my view should not be too disappointed," he added.

"The Parapan American Games is another opportunity for them to get involved in what will be a great celebration of sport and the highlight of Canada's year of sport."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]idethegames.biz


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