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  • Panam Sports Inspects Potential Junior Games Hosts


    (ATR) Panam Sports finished inspections in two of three potential hosts for the 2021 Junior Pan American Games, with a visit to Mexico scheduled next month.

    Sport demonstrations in Cali (Panam Sports)
    The inaugural event will aim to “eliminate this opportunity gap and increase the likelihood of additional government funding” for young athletes in the Americas, according to the continental body.

    “The goal is for the Junior Pan Am Games to also provide direct qualification to the next Pan American Games, ensuring consistent opportunities to further develop as an athlete,” Panam Sports added in a statement.

    Santiago, Chile will host the 2023 Pan American Games, which will be the first senior Games after the 2021 event.

    Panam Sports visited Cali, Colombia and Santa Ana, El Salvador as part of its inspection process for the Junior Games.

    Both bids offer radically different visions for what could be the first event, according to the continental body.

    Cali is a previous Pan American Games host city, and most recently hosted the 2013 World Games, while being a hub for Colombian sport. Santa Ana wants to use the event to bolster El Salvador's sports facilities, which are mostly concentrated in the country’s capital of San Salvador.

    Monterrey, Mexico is the third city vying to host the inaugural event. It has never hosted a multi-sport event, but bid for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, and is home to a number of professional sport teams.

    “What we found in Cali is a very solid candidature that’s well structured with very complete infrastructure; and what we’ve found in El Salvador is a group that’s very enthusiastic with the support of the city and the support of the Olympic Committee, and a desire to transform Santa Ana through hosting the Junior Pan American Games,” Ivar Sisniega, Panam Sports Secretary General said in a statement after the visit.

    Panam Sports evaluation commission in Santa Ana (Panam Sports)
    “We are impressed with both candidatures and still look forward to reviewing the project from Monterrey in more detail, but I can say that that we have chosen competitive cities as the potential hosts of these first Junior Pan American Games in history.”

    Baltazar Medina, President of the Colombian Olympic Committee, said in a statement that Cali “has everything necessary” to host the Games, should Panam Sports select it.

    “First, we have complete sports infrastructure capable of handling the full sports program of these Games,” Medina added. “We also have the full commitment of all levels of government to ensure that these Games will have all the resources they need to ensure success.”

    Following the visit to El Salvador, Eduardo Palomo, President of the El Salvador Olympic Committee, emphasized the Games could be used not only to develop athletes, but future hosts.

    “The Junior Pan American Games were born with the idea to open opportunities and bridge the gap for athletes who didn’t have competitions, but also with the idea that smaller cities like Santa Ana could begin a process of emergence to develop their capacity for sports and their infrastructure,” Palomo added in a statement.

    Written by Aaron Bauer

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