PanamSports Warns Lima 2019 of Tight Construction Deadlines

(ATR) PanamSports leaders fielded several questions about status of Lima 2019 during executive meeting in Miami.

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(ATR) Questions about construction timelines of the Pan American Games in Lima in 2019 caused the first day of PanamSports Executive Committee meetings in Miami to be longer than expected.

PanamSports president Neven Ilic told Around the Rings that timelines for Lima 2019 preparations occupied "a great deal of attention" at the closed doors meeting where Lima 2019 chief Carlos Neuhaus provided an update.

"We are very expectant. We recognize that Lima is making a tremendous effort, that things are beginning to flow in a good way but we continue to have the concern that the time remaining from here to the opening is short," he said. "So any delays or any inconvenience that we have along the way absolutely puts everything at risk."

"In some aspects we are more relaxed, in others we have fundamental concerns regarding infrastructure. In construction, the important thing is to begin. Today we have dates but none of the infrastructure projects can be started," said Ilic, a sports leader who also runs a construction company in his native Chile..

He confirmed that construction of the Pan American Village causes the most concern. Seven companies are competing to build the village with the winner scheduled to be chosen on Sep. 8.

"We have dates, according to the schedule, but they are dates that we need to be met," Ilic said. "The inquiries that members of the Executive Committee made today sought the best way to offer support. Today, PASO is determined and has always been that way, to stand next to them (Peruvian organizers) seeking the fastest way to move forward. Once things start, the pressure goes down."

"Happy and Proud" for IOC Membership

Ilic said he is "happy and proud" to be among the nine candidates expected to be approved as new IOC members during the IOC Session that will be held in Lima in two weeks.

In his interview with ATR, he reported that in recent weeks he has visited and talked with representatives of 37 of the 41 NOCs of PanamSports "to focus on the support each needs", taking into account the unique problems of each country. He notes that large countries such as the United States, Canada, Brazil and Mexico have different approaches than the numerous smaller NOCs within PASO.

This led to the creation of the Commission for Sports Development that presents on the final day of the Executive Committee meeting. The commission is expected to present its package of proposals and solutions and the activation of different programs that allow PanamSports "to begin to attack each one of its problems".

Preparations for the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile also occupied a space on the agenda on Sunday. Executives analyzed the first steps linked to the design of the relationship between PanamSports and the Chilean capital. Ilic reported that a follow-up commission will be in Santiago on Sep. 24 to verify that Santiago’s proposals correspond to the needs of the continental sports organization.

After this commission visit, Santiago will be ratified as the host city in Prague, Czech Republic at a PanamSports General Assembly following the ANOC General Assembly in November.

Ilic confirmed to ATR that "in a few more days I am going to step aside" as president of the Chilean Olympic Committee. He considers that the position "requires a person 100% dedicated to it". He says elections will be held in the next few weeks to choose his successor.

"I have heard that there are several candidates, which is good, that there is a high interest in an institution," he said.

Written by Miguel Hernandez and translated by Kevin Nutley.

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