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Jul 14, 2015

Games-Young U.S. gymnasts prepare at Pan Ams for Rio rumble

TORONTO, July 14 (Reuters) – The most exciting names in U.S. gymnastics, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman and Simone Biles, will all be competing during the Pan American Games — just not in Toronto.

But the absence of the American big guns has not prevented the United States from dominating the Pan Am competition where a new crop of champions are putting the old guard on notice that they will have a battle on their hands for coveted Rio Olympic berths.

Jul 14, 2015

Games-A star is born as Saraiva claims Pan Am bronze

TORONTO, July 13 (Reuters) – Brazilian pixie Flavia Lopes Saraiva charmed the crowd on the way to winning a bronze medal in the artistic gymnastics women’s all-around competition at the Pan American Games on Monday.

Packing 70 lbs (31 kg) of pure charisma into a muscular 4-foot, 3-inches (133 cm) frame, Saraiva enchanted the sold-out arena with her playful performance that also marked the 15-year-old as a possible breakout star at next year’s Rio Olympics.

Jul 13, 2015

Game-Pan Am gold rush continues for Canada

TORONTO, July 12 (Reuters) – Canada swept the Pan American Games gold medals in both the men’s and women’s rugby sevens and mountain bike events on Sunday, to fight off a challenge from the mighty Americans at the top of the medal table.

The hosts have enjoyed a stunning start to the 16-day multi-sport extravaganza that began with a dazzling opening ceremony on Friday and has continued through the weekend with an unexpected gold rush.

Jul 13, 2015

Figure skating on a roll at Pan Am Games

TORONTO (Reuters) – When Courtney Donovan arrived for her Pan American Games roller

figure skating short program and saw people in the stands an hour before the competition she was sure they were lost.

Jul 13, 2015

Games-Figure skating on a roll at Pan Am Games

TORONTO, July 12 (Reuters) – When Courtney Donovan arrived for her Pan American Games roller figure skating short program and saw people in the stands an hour before the competition she was sure they were lost.

It was an understandable reaction for an athlete who has spent her entire competitive career in virtual obscurity, performing in dark suburban roller arenas in front of a few dozen spectators rather than the standing room only crowd that filled the venue on Sunday to a cheer her sixth place finish.

Jul 12, 2015

Canada gets Pan Am Games off to golden start

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada got the Pan American Games off to a golden start topping the medal table after claiming four gold on Saturday and Toronto plenty of reason to come out and join the Pan Am party.

Talk of sluggish ticket sales disappeared under a brilliant Canadian summer sun as large enthusiastic crowds turned out at many venues to cheer on their home country.

Jul 11, 2015

War on drug cheats can be won, says WADA chief

TORONTO (Reuters) – Athletes will one day come to multi-sport events like the Pan American Games knowing they are competing on a level playing free of drug cheats, says Craig Reedie, head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

For some, ridding the world of performance-enhancing drugs is a losing battle, but for Reedie, a British Olympic official who took over as WADA chief 18 months ago, there would be no reason to get up in the morning and go to work if he believed the war cannot be won.

Jul 11, 2015

Pan Am Games leap into action with dazzling opening

TORONTO (Reuters) – The Pan American Games got off to a jaw-dropping start on Friday when the world’s erstwhile fastest man appeared to throw himself off the iconic CN Tower during a dazzling opening ceremony that shook the city from its Pan Am slumber.

While the opening ceremony, created and inspired by Cirque du Soleil, attracted a capacity crowd of 45,000 to the Rogers Centre, hundreds of thousands of tickets remain unsold for the for the largest multi-sport event ever staged in Canada, raising fears of near-empty arenas at some events.

Jul 8, 2015

Games-Toronto embraces Pan Ams while flirting with Olympics

TORONTO, July 8 (Reuters) – It is not the Games Toronto had hoped for but is the one they got and now Canada’s largest city will try to embrace the Pan American Games and convince the world it is up to the job of hosting a Summer Olympics.

Despite lacking the prestige of a Summer Olympics, which Toronto unsuccessfully bid for in 1996 and 2008, the July 10-26 Pan Ams will be the largest multi-sport event held in Canada as nearly 7,000 athletes from across Latin America, South America, the Caribbean and North America compete in 36 sports.

Jul 6, 2015

Back to obscurity for all but a few after World Cup

VANCOUVER (Reuters) – With the Women’s World Cup party over it was back to reality for many of the players who headed home on Monday to resume 9-to-5 jobs, school studies and raising families.

Women’s soccer basked in the spotlight during the month-long tournament, delivering an entertaining spectacle that produced record-smashing television ratings and an eye-popping total attendance of 1.35 million after 52 matches.