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  • Bach Asks NOCs of Americas to Encourage Their Athletes


    (ATR) The president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, transmitted a message of optimism to 41 NOCs of the Americas on Tuesday about the celebration of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

    Thomas Bach addresses virtual Panam Sports General Assembly. (Panam Sports)
    In his address in Spanish and English to the Panam Sports Virtual Ordinary General Assembly, Bach was encouraged by the scientific advances in rapid tests and in the initiation of vaccinations against the Covid pandemic.

    The cooperation agreements reached with the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the G20 international forum to support the next summer and winter Olympic editions were also highlighted by the sports leader.

    The celebration of the Olympic Games in Tokyo "will be an example of human resistance and solidarity," he said from Lausanne through the Zoom communication platform.

    The continental meeting was broadcast for the first time on YouTube.

    "Tokyo will be the light at the end of the road," said Bach on a day that marked 100 days until the start of the Olympic Torch Relay on Japanese territory.

    "Encourage your athletes to prepare for Tokyo," Bach told the Olympic leaders who followed the broadcast from their countries.

    In his video, Bach confirmed the important aid that the IOC provides and will provide to NOCs and athletes to mitigate the harmful effects of the coronavirus pandemic, in their preparation and in their physical and mental health.

    The inaugural Junior Pan American Games will be in Cali, Colombia, from September 9 to 19, 2021.
    It is not the first time that in this eventful season, Bach has come into contact with the NOCs of the Americas. Before and after the postponement of the Olympic Games, the Olympic leader held online conversations with the NOCs of the five continents.

    The General Electoral Assembly of Panam Sports should have been held in Cancun, but the current epidemiological situation in Mexico forced the organizers to hold it online.

    The forum lasted almost five hours and closed its digital agenda with a comprehensive report from the Organizing Committee of the I Junior Pan American Games, in Cali, Colombia, from September 9 to 19, 2021.

    This mega-event also suffered a date change due to Covid-19.

    Before the forum began, a posthumous tribute was paid to 18 continental sports personalities who died in 2020.

    Neven Ilic and Ivar Sisniega led the General Assembly from Miami. (Panam Sports)
    The president of Panam Sports, the Chilean Neven Ilic, told the gathering that since his first election, in 2017 in Punta del Este, Uruguay, he has committed to modernizing the Pan American Games while coming into contact individually with each NOC to better understand the difficulties of each one.

    Ilic along with his secretary general, the Mexican Ivar Sisniega, virtually led the meeting from the agency's office in Miami.

    Gunilla Lindberg, ANOC Secretary General, also participated.

    The elections of the new executive began in the afternoon. As Around the Rings anticipated in January of this year from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Ilic would be the only candidate for the presidency, which was confirmed days ago. He will serve a new term until 2024.

    The detrimental effects of the pandemic on all Panam Sports plans and especially on athletes, transparency, the help of Solidaridad Olimpica, the legacy of Lima 2019, whose main facilities have been used in the fight against Covid, and trust in the success of Cali 2021 and Santiago 2023 were addressed on this first day.

    Full and honorary members of the COY and directors of the Pan American Confederations were also invited.

    Ilic in his words of welcome called to keep hope alive in the face of uncertainty.

    Written and reported by Miguel Hernandez

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