For the last six months leading up to PanAm, I only heard how it was not going to work from the media. Nay-sayers complained of inevitable grid-lock, poor attendance and half-completed venues. Well, the games officially started 10 days ago, and guess what? It's actually been really great.
I've seen many different concerts, two circus acts, a dazzling fireworks display and been to four events in which I've seen Canada win two gold medals. It's been spectacular. And one of the reasons it's been so spectacular is that people are involved. The negativity surrounding the planning has faded away allowing everyone to focus on the athletes and the arts which represent the cultures at these games.
If you haven't been to any sporting events or had an opportunity to take advantage of any of the FREE concerts, there's still time. The Pan Am games run until the 26th and then the ParaPan Ams aren't far behind. Panamania will continue with free events through to the end of the ParaPan Am games.
Here are some of my favourite moments from the first 10 days, in chronological order.
1- A full house at Nathan Philips Square for Wyclef Jean
2- Getting my electric pow wow on with a Tribe Called Red
4- Watching Canada win two gold medals in the pool.
5- Miraculously not getting a sunburn after watching hours of beach volleyball on the hottest day of the year, so far. Thank goodness for water guns.
6- Watching the interaction of the puppets with the audience. Imagination is a powerful thing.
7- Cheering for team Canada as they defeat Puerto Rico on the court in their Volleyball prelims.