Fred Sturrup is currently in Lima, Peru, as a part of a 2019 Pan American Games journalistic program. His account of The Bahamas’ experience at the games so far follows:
LIMA, PERU — The 2019 Pan American Games will begin officially on Friday, July 26, at the Estadio Nacional del Peru in Lima, Peru, with the games’ opening ceremony. A total of 41 Pan Am region nations, inclusive of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, will be represented.
Firstly, the impression was quite clear that the city went all out to create a quality platform for this 18th version of the biggest multi-sport extravaganza in regional history. There are the growing pains though. Chef de Mission D’Arcy Rahming; and one of the event’s coordinators, Wellington Miller, are feeling the brunt of transportation and communication issues.
Chef Rahming was left scrambling to reach relevant officials into the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday to deal with the problem of important accreditation data missing from the system, while caught up also in a transportation glitch, as the LOC (Local Organizing Committee – Lima 2019 Panamericanos) sought valiantly to put in place consistency among the drivers.
Rahming acknowledged though that the efforts demonstrated in the planning of such a major event are to be admired.
“I really give them full credit. So many buildings have gone up to accommodate these games. That has translated into thousands of jobs and it has impacted the economy in a very good way. Everybody seems on one page in understanding that despite issues, the bigger picture is coming together to put on something truly amazing.
“You see this great appreciation of sports. They understand the value of sports and that is manifested in how they deal with the obstacles in getting the job done. It’s not perfect but one has to give praise for what is unfolding. I think The Bahamas could be in a similar spot. In our country we are fortunate to be so grounded in sports.
“I have spoken to persons whom can iron out the difficulties thus far and by the time the games begin, we should be fine,” said Rahming at the accreditation center in Lima on Wednesday.
He is the chief of a delegation that includes four disciplines, athletics (track and field), judo, swimming and tennis. He arrived in Lima last Friday to ensure that Team Bahamas’ accommodations were in order.
Miller, the immediate past president of the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC), is a prominent Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) figure and is responsible for the coordination of several sports.
“I know about the little problems organizing committees have. It is bothersome at times. For instance, I just got my transportation and driver fully organized around midday (Wednesday) but we are good to go and this is yet another opportunity for The Bahamas to add more status to its sports brand.
“I just wish more Bahamians, and yes, the politicians in particular, could be positioned more often to really observe these games’ preparations and how the people work together to overcome difficulties. Our politicians could inspire us to more sports greatness. In the meantime, those of us who have sports influence inside and outside of the country are charged to lead the way and be as convincing as possible. I anticipate a great set of games,” said Miller.
The Pan Am Games events are controlled by PASO. It’s a good PASO product.
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