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  • PASO Report: Guadalajara Seeks Confidence for 2011 Games


    Jalisco State Governor Emilio Gonzalez promises to be ready in Guadalajara for 2011. (ATR)
    Guadalajara 2011: “We are Dealing with Every Detail”

    Organizers of the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara report to the PASO assembly in Merida, Mexico, their preparations seemingly taking shape after a troubled start during the past two years.

    “We are dealing with every detail,” Jalisco State governor and Guadalajara 2011 President Emilio González Márquez told the PASO delegates.

    Gonzalez promised that the delayed Pan American Village will be finished on time, saying that it is now 20 percent complete.

    Still, Michael Fennell of Jamaica, the PASO technical commission chair for Guadalajara says that COPAG will be pressed to finish the village by May 2011 as currently planned. Fennell, in his report to PASO, did note that the village construction was being professionally managed, one bright spot for the project.

    Gonzalez also pledged to have the athletics stadium, for which construction has just started, ready next April. Fennell says Guadalajara would do well to consider an alternative, using a new stadium built for a football club that is located next to the Pan Am Village.

    Also of concern to PASO is the indeterminate state of a doping lab for Guadalajara.

    Despite the question marks, most other venues are finished or nearing completion in Guadalajara.

    “Things have changed quite a lot” said PASO President Mario Vazquez about the way the situation has improved in Guadalajara in the last five months – but that vigilance is needed.

    “I am on them every day,” he said at a press conference at the end of the PASO assembly.

    He says he expects Guadalajara to get a grilling in October, the one year mark to the Games, when PASO delegates will convene in an extraordinary general assembly on the sidelines of the Association of National Olympic Committees assembly scheduled for Acapulco. Vazquez Rana says he wants the leaders of the 42 PASO NOCs to be ready with questions for Guadalajara at that time.

    No questions were asked Friday after the Guadalajara presentation, despite Vazquez Rana’s call for “critical questions”. He admitted that after two and a half hours from Guadalajara, delegates were too tired to raise questions.

    The 2011 Pan Ams take place October 14 to 30, with more than 5,000 athletes taking part in what will be the biggest multi-sport event of the year with 36 sports, 26 on the program for London. Qualification for the London Olympics will be decided in some of those sports.

    Toronto 2015 Organizers Make First PASO Briefing

    The executives who will head the march to the 2015 Pan Ams made their debuts to PASO, making the first report to the assembly since the city was picked last November.

    Roger Garland, chairman of the five-month old board, said that “the most critical decision we’ve made so far is the appointing
    Toronto 2015 CEO Ian Troop speaks at the PASO assembly in Merida. (ATR)
    of our CEO”.

    That would be Ian Troop, who’s worked in senior capacities for multi-nationals such as Proctor and Gamble, and in Latin America, too. He even slipped in a line or two of Canadian-accented Spanish during his brief remarks to PASO.
    Biggest objective for Troop this year is to hire the initial team of 20 by November.

    He tells Around the Rings that he expects “managing transport of athletes and officials across a large games footprint” may be a bigger challenge for Toronto than venues, of which most are existing.
    A six member commission from PASO was named Friday to work with Toronto 2015, headed by Mexico NOC president Felipe Munoz Kapamas.

    Venues Picked for Next PASO Assemblies

    Vazques Rana set the table for upcoming general assemblies as the one Merida came to an end Friday.

    Guadalajara is next, in October 2011, on the eve of the Pan Am Games. Uruguay is to host the 2012 meeting,
    IOC members Anita DeFrantz and Angela Ruggiero of the U.S. and Cuba's Yumilka Ruiz Lances. (ATR)
    Toronto in 2013 and Barbados for 2014. Toronto as the Pan Am host city gets the PASO meeting again in 2015.

    Earthquake Aid For Haiti and Chile

    Chilean NOC president Neven Ivan Ilic Alvarez was handed an $80,000 check Friday from the PASO president for earthquake relief. A commission for Haiti will assess what needs to be done to best help the country’s sport with recovery from the quake that struck in January.
    “With 300,000 dead, two million homeless, it is important we be build a new Haiti,” NOC president Jean-Edouard Baker said.

    Sports Ministers Gather For Pan Am Sports Convention
    Haitian sports minister Evans Lescouflair will be among the roster of sports ministers from the Americas taking part in the fourth Pan American Sports Convention Saturday in Merida.

    The day-long conference is meant to focus on issues affecting NOCs, sport and government.
    Other notables attending include Canada’s Gary Lunn, who is hobbling on crutches after foot surgery and Orlando Silva, the Brazilian minister for sport.

    IOC Roll Call

    After being scarce at Pan American meetings for the past few years, U.S. IOC members are making a PASO comeback. In Merida, Anita DeFrantz, the senior member in the U.S. was joined by Angela Ruggiero, the newly elected member from the election for the Athletes Commission in Vancouver.

    ATR counted 13 IOC members in all at the PASO Assembly this week.

    Others included Andres Botero of Columbia, Reynaldo Gonzalez of Cuba, Nicole Hoevertsz of Aruba, Gunilla Lindberg of Sweden, Julio Cesar Maglione from Uruguay, Brazil’s Carlos Nuzman, Richard Peterkin from St. Lucia, Yumilka Ruiz Lances of Cuba, Meliton Sanchez of Panama, Mario Vazquez Rana from Mexico and C.K. Wu of Chinese Taipei.

    Written by Ed Hula. For general comments or questions, click here.

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