A recent article in the Toronto Star describes Toronto’s bid for the 2015 Pan American Games. Toronto, Bogota, Colombia and Lima, Peru are the 3 candidate cities and the selection will be made next fall by the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO). Speculation is that Toronto is favored to win based on its infrastructure advantages and the fact that neither Canada or the USA has hosted since 1999. (The USA isn’t bidding due to the conflict with the 2016 Chicago Olympic Bid.)
The PANAM Games Handball tournament has historically served as the Pan American region’s automatic qualification for the Olympic Games. The 2011 PANAM Games will be in Guadalajara, Mexico and the winner of both the Men’s and Women’s tournament will qualify for London 2012. If the qualification format is maintained the 2015 tournament will serve as Pan American qualification for the 2016 Olympics.
For the USA, this may be academic if Chicago is selected as the host city for 2016. (Host nations automatically qualify in all team sports.) If Chicago is not selected for the Olympics, however, qualifying for the 2016 Olympics will surely be easier for the USA in Toronto, vice Bogota or Lima.
Toronto Star: “Pan Am bid seen as economic salve”: http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/557978
Wikipedia article on 2015 Pan Am Games: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Pan_American_Games