Lima 2019 Has No Need to Panic... Yet

(ATR) The CoComm for the next Pan Am Games says that organizers are behind in several areas of development.

(ATR) The coordination commission for the next Pan American Games says that organizers are behind in several areas of development.

The Lima 2019 Coordination and Technical Commissions of the Pan American Sports Organization visited Peru from Oct. 29-31 and found that key infrastructure projects are running behind schedule.

"The critical issue is time," PASO CoComm chair Keith Joseph told delegates at the extraordinary general assembly in Doha, Qatar. "Although 2019 seems a long way off, there is a lot of infrastructure work that needs to be completed and we don’t have much time.

"We have concern about the pace of the work and we do not feel comfortable at this juncture."

While the commissions raised concern about the project, they also expressed confidence in the organizing committee led by Carlos Neuhaus and the Peruvian Olympic Committee headed by Jose Quinones.

"We are assured they can meet all the deadlines," said technical commission chair Michael Fennel. "It’s going to be close but their construction industry is very well qualified and delivers work in a timely manner.

"There is a tremendous amount of work to be done and we feel this can be accelerated. There are lots of qualified people in Lima but it needs to have a proper structure."

Some delegates at the PASO assembly agreed with the CoComm report that expressed concern about the Peruvian NOC’s involvement in the organization of the games.

"Quinones is on the OCOG and we feel there are a number of persons within Lima who have held a wealth of experience organizing the games," said Joseph. "We believe there is resident expertise that would allow for enhancement of the organization and speeding up of preparations."

The commission also recognized the need for Lima 2019 to include more athletes in its organization, specifically with the creation of an Athletes’ Commission. Lima 2019 also needs to assign a medical director and communications director.

The PASO assembly also approved the addition of bodybuilding to the Lima 2019 sports program, bringing the total number of sports to 39. The previous Pan Am Games in Toronto featured 36 sports. PASO is also including four of the five sports that have been added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, only excluding sport climbing.

Lima 2019 will seek to implement the recommendations of the commissions before the next PASO visit to Peru next year. There is no exact date set for the next inspection at this time but Quinones tells Around the Rings it is expected in January or February.

Written by Kevin Nutley

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