A citizenship ceremony welcoming 100 new Canadian citizens has been staged to mark 100 days to go until the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
With the Opening Ceremony set to open the Games on July 10, the event took place to act as a reminder that "athletes, coaches and visitors from the 41 countries throughout the Americas will find welcoming communities within Canada's diverse populations", the organising committee said.
It was held at the new YMCA, which is part of the recently completed Pan and Parapan American Games Athletes' Village on Toronto's waterfront in the West Don Lands area.
"Our Games motto is United We Play!" explained Saäd Rafi, chief executive of Toronto 2015.
"This ceremony reflects the values of inclusion and diversity that the Games will promote.
"The Games are a chance for all of us to cheer for Team Canada on home soil and with our fellow Canadians, while also welcoming the people of the Americas to share in all our communities have to offer."
Toronto 2015 said preparations are well underway and that the 16 venues in 15 communities are nearly all completed.
It also said 60,000 people have applied for the 23,000 Games time volunteer positions, while more than 350,000 tickets have been sold, with the next round of ticket sales starting on April 16.
Meanwhile, a recent online survey, conducted by lead Toronto 2015 partner CIBC, revealed that 75 per cent of Ontarians believe it is important for Canadian athletes to perform well at international sports competitions, such as the Pan and Parapan American Games.
Of the 805 respondents, more than half - 56 per cent - also said it instils national pride and almost a quarter - 24 per cent - said it encourages participation in sport when the country's athletes perform well on the world stage.
A shocking 91 per cent, however, said they had never attended a major international sporting event.
Tickets for the Toronto 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games can be bought online here or by calling 1.855.726.2015 in North America and 1.949.333.4824 internationally.
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