The Pan Am Games, taking place in and around Toronto from July 10-26, is one of this summer’s biggest sporting events in Canada. More than 6,000 athletes will compete in 365 events spread across 36 sports in a quest to be the best, and also qualify for the Olympics. The Parapan Am Games, from Aug. 7-15, feature 445 events in 15 sports, all of which will be used to qualify for the 2016 Paralympics.
There will be around-the-clock coverage of the games, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have the inside scoop on who these athletes really are. The InstaList has compiled the best Instagram feeds that give you an in-depth look at some of the Canadian athletes you’ll be cheering on.
Check Out: Pan Am Games 2015
Know a really cool Canadian Pan Am athlete with a fantastic Instagram feed? Leave a comment or shoot us a message letting us know, and we may add them to the list.
WHO: Whitney McClintock/Waterski – @whitmcclintock
WHY: Many Pan Am events lend themselves well to photo opportunities — the runner stretching her arm out just as she reaches the finish line, the high-jumper arcing his body as he crosses the bar, or the gymnastic star sticking her landing. But none of the events look quite like waterskiing, which is why Whitney McClintock’s feed is featured here. The 25-year-old’s feed is filled with videos of her flipping and twisting on the water and you can tell she is one of the coolest people in the tournament.
WHO: Tory Nyhaug/BMX – @tnyhaug49
WHY: Tory Nyhaug is one of the younger Pan Am athletes at 23, though he’s already been to the London Olympics for BMX. If it weren’t for the photos of him sailing through the air on his bike, you’d think this was the Instagram feed of a high school or early post-secondary student. There are photos of Nyhaug raking the lawn, helping his dad tie his tie, and hanging out with his dog. Being a Pan Am athlete isn’t all about travelling the world and performing in front of thousands of people.
WHO: Kate Gillis/Field Hockey – @kategillis3
WHY: It makes sense that most Instagram accounts for athletes are filled with photos of them in action or with their team, since nearly all of their spare time is spent practising, but those team photos are often interspersed with selfies. Not so with Kate Gillis’ Instagram feed. There are almost no photos that feature just her, and you can tell that being part of a team is central to who the 25-year-old is. Teamwork and togetherness are the names of the game when it comes to major international events like the Pan Am Games, and it’s the name of the game for Gillis as well.
WHO: Jennifer Abel/Diver – @jennabel91
WHY: Jennifer Abel’s team photos on her Instagram feed are much more intimate than the others featured on this list. Diving teams are smaller than most other sports and are based around pairs, so synchronicity and partnership are crucial. Most of the selfies or photos of Abel are her with only one other person. Her feed provides an interesting glimpse into how smaller Pan Am teams bond, in contrast to teams for larger sports like hockey or baseball.
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Bonus: And of course there’s the Pan Am 2015 Instagram account, to celebrate all the teams participating in the games. There’s 6,000 athletes involved, and it takes nearly 20,000 volunteers to guarantee that the events run as smoothly as possible, making the games themselves a testament to teamwork.
Know of any awesome Pan Am Games athletes we should feature on this list? Send their name or Instagram account our way and they may be put on the list.
Enjoy the 2015 Pan Am Games.