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Oh hi there. Thanks for coming back.
I wrote a pro-TO-Olympic Bid thing last week and shopped it around and it was printed by the Toronto Sun and some others, but it was edited down... and some little things were changed, so I wanted to chuck it up on here in it's virginal form. I'm going to use my blog for blogging! :)

There is absolutely no denying what a fantastic success the 2015 Pan Am/Para Pan Ams were. TO2015 was probably the best party Toronto has ever thrown. The organizing committee pulled off an incredible spectacle, the volunteers were tireless and gracious (and numerous! 23,000!) and our Athletes performed exceptionally well. Panamania was also a kick-ass success (but I loooove music and fireworks). Best of all though, Toronto got behind the whole show and Torontonians and Greater Torontonians hosted the Americas in the most welcoming and open-hearted way I've ever seen a city host a multi-sport games. Nice one TO!

Toronto is quickly becoming a truly Global city. I mentioned that to a good friend recently and he quickly stopped me "what does that even mean?". It's a valid question, because it's certainly a subjective affirmation. In my opinion, a Global city is one that gets talked about and written about in the international media as a city that stands out for doing things well, and differently. Global cities innovate, and change the game. They invite people over, and ensure that they leave bragging about their trip. I brag about Toronto all the time, but I want to hear the world brag about us the way I hear friends returning from London, New York, Istanbul, Copenhagen, Tokyo, Sydney and Berlin brag about their metropolitan adventures. (Future ideal conversation I hope happens in say, Paris: Pierre: hey Pascale where you going for New Year's Eve? Pascale: Toronto! Pierre: jealousssss.)

The clearest victor of TO2015 is Toronto. Dozens of countries and hundreds of athletes left our city with medals and records and ‎stories and new friends. But Toronto gets all these sparkling new sports venues, this beautiful new neighbourhood called the west Donlands, a finished Queen's Quay project, a finished Front Street, a Union Station complete with a train to our airport, that insanely instagram-friendly Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips and bragging rights that we threw the best Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games ever. Pretty sweet deal actually.

I was lifting weights in the new Scarborough facility this past winter‎ and I was struck by how fully the community adopted it as their own, right away. I looked out on the track to see new mothers pushing their strollers around the outside, and some elderly folks walking in the middle lanes, as some university students jogged in the middle (it was January, wayyy to cold to walk/run/be outside, REMEMBER??). About 60 kids were playing basketball on 6 courts just below that and others were playing table tennis and badminton. I didn't even check out the two 50m swimming pools or the dive tank, but I guarantee they were full of people young and old practicing and exercising and being happier and healthier. 

The same is true for all the new built-for-Pan-Am venues ‎we've got. People are paddling in Welland, Miltonians are riding their bikes in tiny circles at the Velodrome and York University has a speedy new track. They were built FOR Pan Ams because of Pan Ams but the community wins in the long run.

So my position is clear. Pan Ams left Toronto a way better place. Are you convinced? 

So what now? Is that all we've got? I think we should start planning the next big show, and set our sights on an even bigger goal. 

People sometimes call this great city "Toronto the Good". I love that because I think it's true. We are a good city, and it's because of WHO we are, not where we are or what we do. When I say that I think Toronto can host the best summer Olympics ever it's because I trust the people who I know‎ and call my neighbours to do an awesome job.  

The new IOC president, Thomas Bach has set out some new priorities for host cities to abide by. His 2020 agenda mandates that the costs remain reasonable, that all facilities are sustainable and wherever possible, existing sport venues be utilized. Fancy, cause we just built a whole bunch of sweet new sports venues (see above).

Toronto has an amazing opportunity, that of a lifetime. Not just to win a bid and host the world and take more awesome instagrams in front of city hall. But to change the game. We can innovate and become even more World Class. We can host the most socially responsible, financially sustainable and environmentally friendly Olympic Games in the history of the world. We'll make that our first priority, and the IOC will be stoked we did.

Why am I so confident? Because Toronto, we are awesome.

My fellow Torontonians, we deserve nice things. Let's be proud of what we did together and be ambitious about the future. Let's take on a new challenge and be confident that our public and private sectors have the expertise and ability to execute an Olympics we can all brag about forever. Because afterall, those aren't really sectors, they're us. We can do it, together. Let's invite the world over again for some sports, and send them home bragging about their trip to Toronto the Great.


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