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Start the Countdown to Pan Am 2015 with Scott Russell

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If you stumbled across BMX stuntmen and an extreme trampoline routine in Toronto this morning -- or a celebrity baseball game in Ajax, or a regatta in St. Catharines -- there's a reason for that.

A reason beyond awesomeness.

July 10 -- so, today -- CBC starts the countdown to broadcasting the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

Pan Am athletes have spent their lives training for this moment. Sports fans only get two years to prep for the event. So to make sure Canada's pumped at a podium-placing level, every moment better matter. To start things right, the countdown launched with 10 Pan Am parties in 10 southern Ontario communities today.

CBC News Toronto will have coverage of it all at 6 p.m. ET. But the biggest pep rally of them all has yet to go down.

Tonight in Markham, CBC Sports' Scott Russell will MC a Pan Am countdown event between 6 - 8 p.m. at the city's Civic Centre, and the CBC Toronto team will be there with him.

According to Toronto 2015's organizing committee, thousands are expected to attend the event. They'll get the first look at Pan Am art by David Arrigo, enjoy local entertainment, feast on food from the Americas and Caribbean.

But the star attraction (sorry, Scott Russell) is a "balls of fire" demonstration by table-tennis star, and former Chinese national team member, Sun Jian Fei.

"This is just the beginning of what the region will look like two years from today when we join together to stage the largest international multi-sport Games ever held in Canada!" Ian Troop, chief executive officer of the games' organizing committee said in a statement.

For more info on the games, and countdown events, visit Toronto2015.org.

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