Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Pan Am Games Get Positive Reviews among Foreign Press, Toronto's Apathy Noticed

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Pan Am Games Get Positive Reviews among Foreign Press, Toronto's Apathy Noticed

Article excerpt

Toronto sees positive press over Pan Am Games

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TORONTO - To hear members of the foreign press tell it, the Toronto being presented to the world during the Pan Am Games is one featuring state-of-the-art sporting venues, enthusiastic fans and ever-helpful volunteers.

Long distances between competitions spread out across the Greater Toronto Area, issues with the transportation system shuttling journalists around and a sense of apathy among many residents outside Pan Am hotspots have also been noticed by journalists from the 41 countries participating in the multi-sport event.

But overall, impressions of the Games appear to be positive.

"In general it's very good," said Andrea Sosa Cabrios, a correspondent from Mexico City working for the Deutsche Press Agency's Spanish service. "We have transport problems but this is a great city that has beautiful venues and things to offer."

Many in Latin America are interested in the Games, said Sosa Cabrios, with stories from Toronto getting fairly prominent coverage as they focus on the performance of national teams.

"The Pan American Games are important," she said. "From Mexico to the south, normally people are interested in their athletes. There are many countries that cannot go to Olympic Games, so these are their little Olympic Games."

A common complaint among the press corps, however, has been the distances separating various sporting venues.

"It's the first time I've seen a Pan Am Games with this plan," said Antoine Morel, a journalist with Brazilian news site Uol.com. "The places are too far."

Morel noted, however, that distances are a problem that have only truly affected journalists rather than spectators, and having far-flung venues has meant more communities benefit after the conclusion of the Games.

"The legacy will be more in Toronto, it's more for the city and less for the journalists," he said.

With Brazil set to host the Summer Olympics next year, Morel has been making comparisons between the Games in Toronto and preparations for Rio 2016, and said Canadian fans have shown themselves to be a patriotic bunch.

"Here if a guy wins a bronze medal, the guy is an idol. …

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