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  • Successors Loom for Pan Am Presidency


    (ATR) The slate is set for elections for the Pan American Sports Organization in March, Around the Rings has learned, with a potential successor to Mario Vazquez Rana among the ranks of the candidates for vice president.

    Mario Vasquez Rana at the 2010 ANOC General Assembly in Acapulco. (ATR)
    At the close of the candidate filing, Vazquez Rana was the only candidate for president. That puts him in line to serve a 10th term, elected first in 1975.

    Turning 80 in June, Vazquez Rana will have to leave the IOC in 2012, but he is not prevented from continuing his leadership of PASO or ANOC, the Association of National Olympic Committees, for which he was reelected in 2010 to a ninth term, ending in 2014.

    Vazquez Rana has not exactly said when he might step down from either post, but there’s restlessness in both groups to see a transition to younger leadership.

    There may be some clues to the possible changes ahead for PASO in the list of vice presidential nominees. Ivar Sisniega, former sports director of the just-ended Pan American Games, may be the most interesting name on the list, one of three nominees for the Group 1 seat. One long-time PASO insider says that if Sisniega wins the vote March 7, he is likely a contender to succeed Vazquez Rana.

    Curiously, he is nominated by the Mexican NOC, but so is Felipe Munoz, the current president of the NOC, and former secretary general of PASO. Fernando Beltranena, forer president of the Guatemala NOC, is the third nominee in the group.

    A challenge to Michael Fennell, long-serving president of the Jamaican NOC, has emerged for the Group 2 seat. The outspoken Keith Joseph of the St. Vincent & the Grenadines NOC is one of three nominees, along with Eduardo Alvarez of the Venezuelan NOC.

    There is but one nomination for the Group 3 seat – Carlos Nuzman of the Brazilian NOC – the other candidate for PASO vice president who must be given serious consideration as a successor to Vazquez Rana.

    In an October interview with ATR, Vazquez Rana said he would consider his future with PASO once he is reelected, even though, he said: “I feel with lots of strength. The years do not go by, they stay with you”.

    Homepage photo from Getty Images. 

    Written by Ed Hula.

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