New Executive of Panam Sports Faced with Post-Pandemic Challenge

(ATR) Neven Ilic, unanimously re-elected, tells ATR that he supports mass vaccination of Olympic athletes.

(ATR) The president of Panam Sports, the Chilean Neven Ilic, says his organization will join in the effort to ensure Olympic athletes from the Americas are vaccinated before travelling to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

In his first statement to international media shortly after being re-elected this Wednesday to a second term, Ilic told Around the Rings that "if it is in our hands, we will surely do it" in reference to the negotiations with the corresponding organizations to guarantee through the NOCs the vaccination against Covid.

"I think it is an additional security that can greatly serve the confidence of the Organizing Committee and the International Olympic Committee and for the athletes themselves," said Ilic by phone from the Panam Sports office in Miami.

"I still don't know what the form is like, but if we manage to do it, we will gladly join the efforts for the massive vaccination of our athletes," said Ilic.

Ilic, the only candidate for the presidency, was re-elected unanimously.

Coincidentally, the second and last day of the Panam Sports Virtual General Assembly was opened by a report from the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee that illustrated the countermeasures adopted for the Olympic Games to prevent the presence of the virus.

The Japanese representatives, through the Zoom platform, explained to the 41 NOCs the accreditation process, which was interrupted this year after the announcement of the postponement of the Games.

Election Results: President: Neven Ilic Alvarez; 1st Vice President: Mario Moccia (Argentina); 2nd: Jimena Saldaña (Mexico); 3rd: Keith Joseph (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines)

Secretary General: Ivar Sisniega (Mexico); Treasurer: Richard Peterkin (Saint Lucia)

Group 1: Tricia Smith (Canada), Susanne Lyons (United States), Juan Santiago Estrada (Nicaragua)

Group 2: Alphonso Bridgewater (Saint Kitts and Nevis), Veda Bruno Víctor (Granada), Erskine Simmons (Barbados)

Group 3: Camilo Pérez (Paraguay), Nicole Hoevertsz (Aruba), Miguel Angel Mujica (Chile)

The executive board also includes Michael Chambers (Canada), president of the Legal Commission; Aliann Pompey (Guyana), president of the Athletes Commission and Francisco Lee (Guatemala), president of the Association of Pan American Confederations.

It was also approved that Venezuela would move from Group 2 of Central America and the Caribbean to Group 3 of South America.

Likewise, the Assembly agreed to include sport climbing in the program of the Pan American Games in Santiago 2023.

To a question from ATR, Ilic considered that whatever the result of the next presidential elections of November 2021 in Chile, the commitment of the Pan American Games will be respected.

"We still do not know who the candidates for those elections will be," he replied. "But Chile is a country that loves sports, is very involved with the Games, it is a responsibility not so much of the Government but of the State. A responsibility that it took with the whole of America"

"I have no doubt that whoever the President of the Republic is, we are going to move forward," said Ilic, also a member of the IOC.

The next Panam Sports General Assembly will be held in Santiago de Chile in October 2021. And it will be in person.

Written and reported by Miguel Hernandez

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