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Golf and rugby on Toronto Pan Am Games program in 2015

Associated Press

2/12/2013 3:10:43 PM

TORONTO -- Golf and rugby sevens will be played at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, a year before they're contested in Rio.

Both are among the 36-sport Pan Am program that has been approved by the Pan American Sports Organization.

The program, still to be rubber-stamped by the International Olympic Committee, includes all 28 Olympic sports set for the 2016 Rio Games, along with Pan Am-only sports such as softball, baseball and bowling.

TO2015's CEO Ian Troop announced the news on a quarterly report conference call Tuesday.

Men's softball will be played at the Pan Ams for the first time since 2003. The sport made its Pan Am debut in 1979 and Canada went on to win all seven gold medals culminating in the 2003 Pan Am Games.

'"I am . . . very excited to have the opportunity to play in Toronto in front of family, friends and many of the Toronto area fans," said national team player Andy Skelton. "Softball has been a big part of the Toronto community and for it to host an international competition will pull many people that have been involved at many levels to provide a truly amazing environment to play in."

Troop also announced that the Games remain on budget -- $647 million for capital bills and $767 million for operations, for a total $1.441 billion.

TO2015 has reached 65 per cent of its targeted sponsorship revenue of $102 million, he said, adding they've already received almost double the sponsorship Guadelajara got for the 2011 Games, and four times what Winnipeg received for the 1999 Pan Ams.

Troop also said 123 full-time employees have been hired so far, which is about a quarter of the projected TO2015 workforce.

The Games run July 10-26.