(ATR) Panam Sports secretary general Ivar Sisniega could not stop using the phrase "we are so happy" when describing the first week of the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.
Panam Sports "so happy" with Lima 2019 so far (Lima 2019)
Whether discussing the overall success so far of the multi-sport event, the way the games have been watched around the continent and around the world, or the response of the Peruvian people to the Games, Sisniega kept coming back to the phrase during comments to reporters at a briefing on Saturday.
Sisniega did admit "undoubtedly our biggest concern has been, or is, and will continue to be, the transportation issue" and added that Lima is not an easy city to get around due to its traffic.
He believes the Pan American lanes, set up for only buses and cars tied to the Games, have worked very well. He also thanked the people of LIma "for their understanding" in order to get participants of the Games to and from competitions "and travel some distances that are very long".
Ivar Sisniega is under the spotlight at press briefing. (ATR)
In addition to the Pan American lanes, the city of Lima is limiting the number of cars on the road during the Games. On Mondays and Wednesdays, cars with even numbered license plates cannot travel on the main streets of the city. On Tuesdays and Thursdays the same restriction applies to odd numbered license plates.
Sisniega says he is looking forward to the second week of Lima 2019, adding "it’s very important for the staff, the volunteers to keep up this good enthusiasm, good attitude so we can close the Games in a nice fashion and Lima will definitely have a good memory of the Games."
On the sports side, Sisniega says "we have seen good results, not only from the big countries but also from the smaller countries that are winning medals in very important sports."
He believes there will be more diversity on the medals table once the athletics competition begins in earnest on Tuesday.
Sisneiga says a goal of Panam Sports and its president Neven Ilic is to have all the sports in the Olympic Games have qualifiers through the Pan American Games. In Lima, there are 21 Olympic qualifiers to Tokyo 2020, an increase from 18 in Toronto in 2015 and 12 in Guadalajara in 2011.
Written and reported by Gerard Farek in Lima.
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