WATCH: Officials of the 2015 Pan Am Games helped unveil the medals that will be awarded at the event this summer in the Toronto area.
TORONTO – Olympian Mark Tewksbury and paralympian Elisabeth Walker-Young were on hand Tuesday in Toronto to unveil the medals for the 2015 Pan Am Games.
“These TORONTO 2015 medals are pieces of art in their own right, and reflect all the hard work, dedication and the difficult journey athletes will take to wear one around their neck and cherish for life,” said Tewksbury during the announcement ceremony at the Royal Ontario Museum.
The materials for the medals were supplied by Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corporation from three of its operations across the Americas: copper from Chile; silver from the Dominican Republic; and gold from its Hemlo mine in Ontario.
Braille is also present on the medals which is being used for the first time in both the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games’ history.
“This is another milestone that puts us one step closer to the games,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory.
The Royal Canadian Mint also applied the ancient technique of mokume gane by fusing different alloys together making each medal unique.
Medals By The Numbers:
The artwork on the medals depict a story of the “People’s Games” through a layered design which organizers say expresses the values of inclusion, diversity, while highlighting Aboriginal traditions.
About 6,600 athletes from 41 countries will compete in 36 Pan Am sports – including 28 Olympic sports – plus 15 Parapan Am sports.
Canada is fielding its largest-ever Pan Am Games team of 700 athletes, and has set a goal of finishing second in the medals – behind perennial champion U.S. – with 160.
The Pan Ams will run July 10-26, while the Parapan Am Games are Aug. 7-14.
The sale of about 1.4 million tickets is expected to bring in roughly $40 million, with sponsorships and government subsidies helping cover the rest of the Games’ $2.5-billion price tag.
Organizers predict the international competition will draw 250,000 visitors from outside Ontario, while the rest will likely be local.
With files from Global News