PASO Confident Lima Will Deliver "Great" Pan American Games

PASO Confident Lima Will Deliver "Great" Pan American Games


(ATR) Mario Vazquez Rana, the top Olympic official in the Americas, offered his support for Lima, the host of the 2019 Pan American Games. 

Lima and PASO president Mario Vazquez Rana sign the host city contract. (ATR)

The Peruvian capital won the vote on Friday at the Pan American Sports Organization General Assembly in Toronto on the first ballot. Lima defeated Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela; La Punta, Argentina; and Santiago, Chile. 

Speaking at a press conference following the vote, Vazquez Rana said, “I can assure you that they will do great games for the benefit of PASO and the benefit of America’s youth.” 

He added that he is “very pleased” with Lima, with the city having worked hard following its loss to Toronto for the 2015 Pan American Games. 

Speaking to  Around the Rings , one evaluation commission member said that the best bid of the four cities won, but Lima must build an adequate metro line and have strong traffic control in place for the 2019 Games to be successful. 

Jose Quinones, president of the Peruvian Olympic Committee said he could “hardly breathe” following Lima’s victory. 

“But I am happy and I am really thankful for all the people that helped to get us here,” he said. 

A Lima 2019 staff member reacts to the win. (ATR)

Francisco Boza, president of the Peruvian Institute for Sport, said Lima must now do what it has done since its loss four years ago -- “continue working.” 

He added, “Now we have the third-biggest event in world humanity. We have six more years in front to learn." 

Keys to Victory 

Vazquez Rana said one of the things that led to Lima’s victory was the emotion of the bid. When they lost four years ago, bid leaders were seen crying. 

“That stays in the feelings of people a little bit,” he said. The presentation today put them over the top. 

The appearance of Peru’s prime minister Juan Jiménez Mayor was another benefit for Lima. (ATR)

“It was the most emotional presentation at the sports level. We saw how they laughed, how they smiled. That is how sports goes. 

“You must touch the hearts.”

Advice from Brazil 

Carlos Arthur Nuzman, president of Rio 2016 and the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, offered his advice to Lima.

“You have to work very hard,” he said. “The technical supports have to work. That is the thing you have to start early on for Lima to organize great games and open doors for the future." 

Vazquez Rana Encourages U.S. Bid 

When asked about comments from U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Larry Probst that the U.S. should make a 2024 bid a “priority”, Vazquez Rana appeared to encourage the U.S. 

Mario Vazquez Rana (ATR)

“It would be a very big success,” he said. “But if the United States proposed themselves they will win, they will fight to win.

“It seems they want the Olympic Games.”

Next PASO General Assembly  

 The next PASO General Assembly will take place next year in Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s west coast, Vazquez Rana announced. 

No dates for the meeting were set. 

Written by Ed Hula III.

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