This article was originally published on the Cycling Canada website.
The Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome is off to a roaring start, with national competitions and the official venue opening marked by high-level international competitions. With just six months to go until the Opening Ceremony of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games, another key piece of the Games infrastructure is open and another sport test event is helping to finalize preparations.
“People in Milton have watched this unique structure going up in their community, and now they’re coming inside to experience this beautiful building. Not only will spectators watch top international athletes racing, but they’ll also see a truly impressive community space that they’ll be using for years to come,” said Saäd Rafi, chief executive officer of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015). “This international cycling test event is a great way to kick off 2015 — now that we’re in the home stretch to the Games, you can feel the excitement building in the Velodrome and throughout the region.”
The Velodrome saw its first athletes and spectators from January 3 to 6, at the Canadian Track Cycling Championships, presented by Cisco. From January 9 to 11, the Milton International Challenge, presented by Cisco, will welcome cyclists from around the world for a final push for medals and prizes in one of the last events on the calendar for the 2014-15 UCI World Cup season. Tickets are available at https://secure1.tixhub.com/velodrome/online/index.asp.
Events like these provide TO2015 with invaluable opportunities to test venue operations, athlete transportation, accessibility, timing and scoring competitions, as well as experience mobilizing volunteers and other critical functions. So far, the more than 45 test events have given sports fans and community members the chance to see live sports and become more familiar with the Games, including a chance to see 12 new and renovated sport facilities.
The Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome holds a 250-metre timber track, with two 42-degree banks, and is one of two facilities of its kind in the U.S. and Canada. The Olympic- and Paralympic-calibre training facility, will be the new home base for Cycling Canada, the Ontario Cycling Association and the Milton Cycling Academy.
The Velodrome, a legacy community recreation centre, will help Milton attract major national and international cycling events to the community for years to come. The oval-shaped, three-story, fully accessible Velodrome is also designed to operate year-round as a community centre. It includes three multi-use courts located on the infield and walking track located on the spectator level.
Momentum is building towards Games time with:
- The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Torch Relay team preparing visit 130 Ontario communities and five communities outside of the province.
- Lead Partner CIBC and more than 50 other partners and sponsors that have stepped up to support the Games.
- Artists, performers and diverse communities are getting ready to stage PANAMANIA, presented by CIBC, the five-week arts and culture celebration in Nathan Philips Square which will be open to the whole community.
- Plans for Aboriginal participation at a pavilion that explores the historic and future contributions of indigenous people of the Americas.
- A commitment to stage the most inclusive and diverse Games ever, including PrideHouseTO, a pavilion that will celebrate LGBT athletes and promote inclusion in sport.
The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport:
“The opening of the Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome marks the beginning of a new era for sport in Milton. This amazing facility will make Milton a training and competition hub for track cycling that will benefit both current and emerging Canadian cyclists for a very long time. The events that have taken place here this week are just the tip of the iceberg for what is in store for sport enthusiasts during this Year of Sport in Canada, and I’m counting the days until the start of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.”
The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport):
“In six months, the focus of the sporting world will be on Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe, as we welcome athletes, coaches and fans to the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. During this Year of Sport in Canada, our Government is extremely proud to support these Games and the significant work done to date in building remarkable facilities such as the Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome. As Canada’s only indoor cycling facility, this venue will give our talented cycling athletes the opportunity to train and compete against the world’s best right here at home for many years to come.”
The Honourable Michael Coteau, Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games:
“Our government led the bid to pursue these Games because we knew they would leave a lasting legacy for Ontarians. Thanks to our leadership, Ontario will now be able to better serve our athletes and our communities with incredible world-class facilities like the brand new Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome. And with six months until the Games, I’m proud to say that these facilities are already in use.”
Indira Naidoo-Harris, MPP (Halton):
“The new Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome is an important win for our athletes, our economy and our local community. High-performance athletes are now training and competing in this world-class facility. I’m proud of our government’s investment in these Games and this facility which will benefit families, businesses and athletes right here in Milton for generations to come.”
His Worship Gordon Krantz, Mayor of Town of Milton
“We look forward to welcoming the international cycling community to Milton for the test event this weekend, and the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games this summer. These events are an opportunity to showcase this amazing new facility, which will be a hub for competitive cycling and a community recreation facility to be enjoyed by all.”
Mark Collins, Vice President, Marketing, Cisco Canada
“The Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome is an exciting, unique facility that will put Canada on the international cycling map. This facility is a fitting symbol of Cisco’s partnership with TO2015 – a state-of-the-art facility bringing innovation and new opportunities to sport and the community. Together with TO2015, Cisco will connect this Velodrome to other Pan Am venues, the data operations centre, and to the fans to create the most connected Pan Am Games ever.”
The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10–26 and the Parapan American Games August 7–15. The TORONTO 2015 Games are funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, as well as Lead Partner CIBC and other partners and sponsors.
The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) is tasked with managing and delivering the Games. It is working to bring some of the world’s best athletes and artists to the City of Toronto and Greater Golden Horseshoe region, giving Ontarians a unique chance to be part of the action, and making the region a hub for sport.