World Masters Athletics Toronto 2020 (WMATO2020) will kick off with the Opening Ceremony in Toronto on July 19, 2020 at Varsity Stadium, the evening prior to the first day of competition.
In celebration of the arrival of the over 70 delegates and thousands of athletes from around the globe, WMATO2020 will honour and recognize the local Indigenous Peoples of the Greater Toronto Area upon whose traditional lands the Championships will take place.
This Opening Ceremony will also include a special celebration of the 45 year anniversary of WMA Championships that was first hosted by Toronto in 1975. Adding to the symbolism and significance of these Championships in Toronto, the Varsity Stadium venue is also in close proximity to Convocation Hall on the University of Toronto campus that held the inaugural General Assembly and the initial formation of World Association of Veteran Athletes (WAVA) which was the forerunner organization to World Masters Athletics (WMA). One of the surviving athletes who competed in those inaugural Championships and who is expected to compete at WMATO2020 has been invited to the Opening Ceremony as an honourable guest.
Celebrated as an awe-inspiring architectural and engineering wonder of the world and a symbol of pride for Toronto and Ontario residents and all Canadians, the CN Tower is visible from Varsity Stadium and will be uniquely incorporated into the presentation, honouring the legacy of this national icon and landmark that opened its doors in 1976, just one year after the inaugural WMA Championships.
All masters athletes, officials, family and friends are welcome to attend the 24th World Masters Athletics Opening Ceremonies at it’s birth place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The festivities will take place at Varsity Centre Stadium on July 19th, 2020 promptly at 6pm. The stadium is located across the street from St George Subway station at 299 Bloor St W, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1W2. Each country will designate 20 athletes including one flag bearer to check in at 6pm at Trinity Field, on the south side of Varsity Centre Stadium, for marshalling preparation. The national delegations will be placed in alphabetical order with the host nation, Canada, at the end of the parade.The parade of nations is expected to begin at 6:30pm.
The Program Includes:
- The Parade of Nations
- Singing of the National Anthem / Flag Raising
- Official Speeches by local dignitaries
- The Officials’ and Athletes’ Oath
- The Arrival and Raising of the World Masters Athletics Flag
- A First Nations Theatrical Presentation
- An Athlete Cultural Presentation ‘Then And Now’
- Departure of the Delegations
The closing ceremonies will take place at Varsity Stadium on August 1st, after the relays on the last day of competitions. All athletes, officials, family and friends are welcome to attend.
The Program Includes:
- A Flag Parade
- The National Anthem
- A Video Recap of WMATO2020
- Official Speeches
- Lowering and Handover of the WMA Flag
- Departure of the Athletes