USOC Doors Open to the Americas

(ATR) PanamSports leaders say that stronger bonds between the 41 countries of the association are being forged.

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(ATR) United States Olympic Committee chief executive officer Scott Blackmun says "the alliance with the countries of the Americas has strengthened" during his closing remarks of the Americas Best Practices Symposium in Miami.

Shortly after Blackmun’s speech, new Pan American Sports Organization president Neven Ilic took to the podium and affirmed Blackmun’s statement, adding that he had the opportunity to speak more deeply with the new PanamSports Executive Committee member on the sidelines of the symposium and understood that "the doors of the USOC are open to us".

During his speech, Ilic made a series of reflections about the symposium, the first aimed at the urgent need of a changed mindset throughout PanamSports.

"It always happens when we attend these conferences," Ilic said. "We are amazed but when we return to our countries and we enter the tunnel of our reality – that of daily problems that are on a different level – and we forget to sit down to plan and see how we can do things a little more professionally."

He said the symposium opened a "big" opportunity to accept the help of the most developed countries, which he described as a "great challenge" that commits PanamSports to serve as a bridge. Ilic hopes to connect the facilities and resources of the most professional countries with the smallest.

"But we also have the challenge of opening our minds," he emphasized. "In this world we are all friends.

"We have heard and seen fantastic things – applications, technologies of the highest level for our coaches with whom we have many problems of how we train them. But I believe that today we begin a path in which will all be responsible, in the name of all of us, to connect our excellence with our needs."

Ilic said this process begins June 15 when he begins to hold meetings with each of the 41 NOCs to address the needs of each country and implement the aid in a timely manner.

"What we have heard in these two days allows us to dream, to know that we can do it," he declared.

Written by Miguel Hernandez and translated by Kevin Nutley in Miami.

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