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  • Pan Am Update - Toronto Makes Transition, Next Bids


    David Peterson, president of the Toronto bid for the 2015 Pan American Games, is unlikely not expected to lead the organizing committee. (ATR/Panasonic:Lumix)
    Toronto Transition to Organizing Committee

    Look for David Peterson to quickly leave behind his duties as president of the Toronto bid for the 2015 Pan American Games.

    “I have done my job,” Peterson told Around the Rings in Guadalajara where the Canadian city won a first-round victory over Lima and Bogota to host the Pan Ams at the general assembly of the Pan American Sports Organization. He says he hopes to be shed of his bid committee duties with a few weeks.

    Chief executive Jagoda Pike, recruited from the private sector last year, is expected to move on as well.
    The formation of a 12-member board of directors is coming soon: the board must hire a new chief executive within 90 days.

    The province of Ontario picks a chair and with the federal government names three members each, the city one member, the Canadian Olympic Committee chooses three and one will be named by the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

    Next Bids

    The decision to take the Pan Ams to North America in 2015 signals the start of a campaign in Latin America to win the 2019 edition.
    Lima, which bid for the 2015 Pan American Games, is said to be bidding for the 2019 games. (ATR/Panasonic:Lumix)

    Lima, which finished a distant second to Toronto, could be a favorite if it tries again. The evaluation commission for the three 2015 bids gave Lima the same good marks offered to Bogota and Toronto, apparently finding no major flaws.

    San Juan, Puerto Rico, host of the 1979 Pan Ams, is said to be preparing a bid, as is Montevideo, Uruguay.
    Under the current timetable, a decision by PASO for 2019 will take place in 2013.

    No word from Bogota, which polled just seven votes in the 2015 election. Two of those votes presumably came from Colombia, one of the ten countries allowed two votes based on prior hosting of a Pan Am Games.

    Political Outcasts Dine Together

    The upheaval for the 2011 Pan Am Games wrought by the past and current mayors of Guadalajara relegated the two men and their spouses to a table far away for a dinner hosted last week by PASO President Mario Vazquez Rana and his wife.

    Vazquez Rana and other PASO leaders ate at a giant round table seating 20, including Jalisco state governor Emilio Gonzalez, who appears to be the political savior of the Pan Ams.
    Jalisco Governor Emilio Gonzalez listens to the praise of Mario Vazquez Rana. (ATR/Panasonic:Lumix)

    Sitting in Siberia was the former mayor of Guadalajara, who once had the title of president of the 2011 organizing committee. Alfonso Petersen left both posts in September when Gonzalez appointed him the lead the Jalisco health ministry. As mayor, Petersen had insisted on a Pan Am Village in the center of the city, an option opposed by Rana, eventually abandoned in September. Dropping the downtown location left the 2011 Pan Ams with a site for the village until an agreement last week on another.

    Joining Petersen in exile at the dinner was the Juan Pablo de la Torres, the interim mayor of Guadalajara who will be out of office Jan. 1. De la Torres has raised questions about whether the city can provide the $50 million guarantee required by PASO and advocated keeping the Pan Am Village in the city. The new site chosen for the village is located in Zapopan, a separate municipality.

    Gonzalez and the state government were instrumental in selecting the new site for the Pan Am Village and will probably come to rescue for the guarantee, too.

    In a final display of his affection for the Jalisco governor, Vazquez Rana had Gonzalez sit next to him as votes were being counted Friday in the 2015 election. Launching an impromptu rhapsody as he filled for time, Vazquez Rana let PASO delegates know the importance of Gonzalez and his government to delivering the Guadalajara Pan Ams.

    Media Watch

    The mayor of Bogota, Samuel Moreno, claims gifts influenced the Pan Am 2015 vote.

    The National Post
    details how Toronto won the Pan Am Games, including a meeting between Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and PASO President Mario Vazquez Rana.

    Canadian athletes
    join in celebrating Toronto's victory.

    An editorial in the Toronto Star says that Toronto 2015 faces a tough task get the city prepared for the Pan Am Games.

    Written by Ed Hula.

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