VICTORIA, BC – Greater Victoria athletes and coaches who competed in the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Games were celebrated today in a public event at Centennial Square in Victoria. Athletes and coaches signed autographs and mingled with kids at activity stations provided by event partners the City of Victoria, PISE (Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence), and the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific.

Athletes who attended the event included: Sean White, Admir Cejvanovic, Mike Fuaillefau, Lucas Hammond, Matt Mullins, Justin Douglas and Sean Duke (Rugby), Ness Murby and Eva Fejes (Para-Athletics), Eric Hedlin, Alec Page, Jeremy Bagshaw and Hilary Caldwell (Swimming), Jesse Hodges (Baseball), Conlin McCabe, Tim Schrijver, Will Crothers, kai Langerfeld, Julien Bahain, Will Dean, Martin Barakso, Mike Evans, Jacob Koudys, Rob Gibson, Matthew Buie, Pascal Lussier (Rowing). “All of our staff at the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific are extremely proud of the performances of Victoria-based athletes during TORONTO 2015. It is a privilege to work with such dedicated and inspiring individuals,” commented Wendy Pattenden, CEO of the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific. “Victoria-based athletes were a big reason BC won 29 per cent of Team Canada’s Pan Am medals and 18 per cent of their Parapan Am Medals. We look forward to an exciting year of preparations for Rio.”

The celebration was timely with National Coaches Week currently taking place at PISE. Members of the public and athletes were invited to write thank you messages to their coaches, as a token of appreciation for their hard work and dedication.

“PISE is excited to partner on this event with the City of Victoria and Canadian Sport Institute Pacific to welcome home and celebrate Canada’s finest athletes and coaches who participated in the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games,” said Robert Bettaeur, CEO, PISE. “We are so proud of the training environment offered at PISE and throughout the Greater Victoria region for high performance athletes. Congratulations to these athletes and coaches for their amazing accomplishments and first class representation of Canada. They truly inspire the children here today to go for their dreams.”

Emceed by Al Ferraby, dignitaries attending the event included Mayor of Victoria, Lisa Helps.

“We are so proud of our local athletes who participated in the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games and we are honoured to recognize their successes both on the international stage, and on a personal level,” said Mayor Helps. “It is inspirational to witness their commitment and achievement, and I congratulate each one of them.”

The highly successful Games saw British Columbia-linked athletes capture 63 medals, winning 29 per cent of the Canadian team’s medal haul, of 168, for a total of 29 gold, 21 silver and 13 bronze. Two hundred (200) athletes who live or train in B.C. competed at the Games, accounting for 28 per cent of the Canadian Pan Am Games Team. The Canadian Parapan Am Games Team won 30 medals (18 per cent of the Canadian team’s medal haul) for a total of five gold, 14 silver and 11 bronze. Forty Six (46) athletes who live or train in B.C. competed at the Games, accounting for 21 per cent of the team.