Golden 25: #17 -- La Liga Latina

(ATR) Neven Ilic and Panam Sports colleagues deliver the biggest multi-sport event in 2019.

(ATR) Neven Ilic and colleagues at Panam Sports will deliver the biggest multi-sport event in 2019.

The 2019 Pan Am Games in Lima are the keystone event for the 41-member continental association, staged since 1951. This edition includes 39 sports with a cap of 6,690 athletes. It’s a first time for Lima.

Getting it right is a point of pride for Peru as well as Panam Sports. The Lima games will be the first under the rebranded name, formerly known by the acronym PASO. And they are the first for up and coming Neven Ilic of Chile, elected president in 2017, now also an IOC member.

Ilic has put his construction know-how to work overseeing the extensive preps in Lima that include a Pan Am Village. Organizers in Lima seem confident of timetables, absent of crisis with just about eight months to go. Pan Am and Rio 2016 veteran Mario Cilenti is now Director of Major Events for Panam Sports, working with Secretary General Ivar Sisniega and Lima 2019 CEO Carlos Neuhaus to deliver next July.

Ilic represents a younger generation of sports leaders from Latin America who are headed to bigger tasks in the years to come. With two South Americans elected to the IOC in 2018, there are now a dozen members from Latin America and the Caribbean, a virtual Liga Latina.

The two members elected in 2018, Camilo Perez of Paraguay and Andrew Parsons of Brazil, International Paralympic Committee President, are also part of the generational shift in Latin America.

Still to come may be IOC seats for Cuba and Mexico, both open for a few years.

Two from the region sit on the Executive Board, Guatemalan Willi Kaltschmitt and Nicole Hoevertsz of Aruba. Richard Carrion of Puerto Rico will be a member of the IOC inquiry that could lead to the banishment of boxing federation AIBA. Gerardo Werthein of Argentina just oversaw a well-received Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires and heads the IOC Commission on Digital Technology.

In Puerto Rico, NOC President Sara Rosario is one of the region’s influential female NOC leaders, along with others such as Veeda Bruno Victor of Grenada, Alicia Morales from Argentina and Jimena Saldana from Mexico.

The Around the Rings Golden 25 is the annual survey of individuals who will have the most influence for the Olympic Movement in the year ahead. First published in 1997, this is the 22nd edition.

Reported by Ed Hula.