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Countdown to 2015 Pan Am Games begins Sunday

It’s four years until the Pan Am Games and host city Toronto is kicking off the countdown with a CN Tower light show on Sunday.

“The Games will generate investment, spending and jobs for Toronto,” Mayor Rob Ford said in a statement, adding thousands of visitors are expected to attend.

The 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games will be the largest international multi-sport competition ever hosted in Canada. In fact, more than 10,000 athletes, coaches and officials will participate in 48 sports – and it’s not all in Toronto.

The events will be held across 17 municipalities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe from Welland to Oshawa.

Coun. Mark Grimes is taking the reins for Toronto, including tourism and community development, the mayor said.

“This is a great opportunity for sport and for Toronto to showcase the city’s diversity, assets and attractions,” Grimes said.

The Toronto 2015 Pan American Games will take place from July 10 to 26, 2015, and the ParaPan Am Games will be held from August 7 to 14, 2015.

The Pan Am Games began in 1951 in Buenos Aires and are held every four years. They have only been held in Canada twice before — both times in Winnipeg in 1967 and 1999.