The Pan Am Games start in Toronto today, and current and former U of G athletes will compete in several events, along with several people assisting as volunteers and on-site staff.

The Games, taking place in southern Ontario July 10-26, will bring together athletes from the Americas. The Games take place every four years — in the year before the Summer Olympics — and began in 1951.

Gryphon swimmer Evan Van Moerkerke will compete as part of Canada’s 4×100-metre relay team, and long-distance runner Aaron Hendrikx will compete in the 10,000-metre event.

Former Gryphons will compete as follows:

  • Britt Benn, women’s rugby
  • Joanna Brown, triathlon
  • Alex Genest, 3,000m steeplechase
  • Tim Hendry, shot put
  • Mark Henry, rowing
  • Korey Jarvis, wrestling
  • Kyle Jones, triathlon
  • Geneviève Lalonde, 3,000m steeplechase
  • Jeremy Latour, wrestling
  • Lee Parkhill, sailing
  • Anthony Romaniw, 800m track
  • Catherine Watkins, marathon

Members of the Ontario Veterinary College will be on hand during Pan Am equine events.

“It is our hope that we will not see any of the horses from the Pan Am games, but we are pleased to be able to support the on-site veterinarians if necessary,” said clinical studies associate dean Stephanie Nykamp.

She said the OVC Health Sciences Centre will provide off-site emergency care for and quarantine for up to 12 horses.

Veterinary technician Kim Healey will serve as a timing and scoring associate for jumping events and help judge during the cross-country phase of eventing.

“This is a great opportunity to be part of something unique and give back to the equestrian community,” she said.

“I hope to be right on the field of play to see the action up close. I’m looking forward to meeting people from all over the Americas.”

Guelph alumna and former Board of Governors member Karen Kuwahara will co-ordinate volunteers and help greet Pan Am athletes, coaches and team staff at Pearson International Airport in Toronto.

Rachelle Campbell, a supervisor at U of G’s Child Care Learning Centre, is volunteering at the track events. She has her own connection to the Games, having won a gold medal as a member of Canada’s 4 x 400 track team at the 1975 event in Mexico City, before going on to compete for Canada at the 1976 Olympics.

Another U of G staff member, Jason Dodd, a former Gryphon Athlete who now works for the Library and Open Education, is a judge for the volleyball competition.