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Two Cents Worth

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Linda Hoffman - Two Cents Worth

Credit where credit is due.

Suffering from sports overload? I am glad the Pan Am Games are over. Just too much going on at the same time. In fact, by the second week I was picking and choosing and only watching sporadically. I did not watch the opening or closing ceremonies. It’s just too much, too.

I love to see the lighting of the flame and the parade of athletes from each country enter the stadium but not all the singing, dancing and fireworks that seem to go on forever. To me it just doesn’t belong either before the games or after. Just imagine what could be done with the money spent on all the pomp and ceremony. To me, focusing on the athletes, the sports and the bringing together of the nations involved would be better.

Congratulations to our own Evan Van Moerkerke for winning a silver medal and heading to the Worlds. We all, undeservingly, share in his success. We are so proud of him and wish him continued success at the World Championships. We also lay claim to all the wonderful athletes from London - and anywhere else within a five-hour drive from home.

I didn’t realize at first just how many communities were involved in the Toronto Pan Am Games. Toronto is getting its name in the sports history books and because of the success of the Games, the powers that be are thinking about applying for the 2024 Olympic Games. Can you imagine having the Olympic Games that close to home? That would be so exciting for Toronto and surrounding area, but I sure wouldn’t want to live there at the time.

As so often happens, although it was called Toronto Pan Am Games, Toronto did not do this alone. Many events were held outside the GTA, including Hamilton, Oshawa, Mississauga, St. Catharines, Caledon, Ajax, Angus, Niagara, Milton, Minden, Welland, Haliburton and some of the most beautiful countryside in between. It’s too bad all of the communities can’t get their name in the books, but I guess that might be a few too many slashes – Toronto/Hamilton/Welland/…

It was a costly affair to be sure for all communities involved. Did they get help from Toronto for those costs? I sure hope many jobs were created for those needing them in the preparation of the Games in all the towns that participated and maybe even those nearby. Industry, business, restaurants, hotels, etc. would have benefitted by having athletes, support staff, friends and family from all the Americas descend on the area.

Although it was a great source of pride for all of us, let the Games also prove to be a financial success for everyone and not a depletion of the public coffers which belongs to everyone.

Do you suppose Tillsonburg is too far away to get some of the overflow in 2024? We have an airport and some of the best sports facilities around. The Toronto/Tillsonburg Olympic Games! Just a thought.

twocentsworth40@hotmail.com

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