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Extraordinary General Assembly of PASO/ODEPA in Jamaica
KINGSTON, JAMAICA--The Pan American Sports Organization is holding an Extraordinary General Assembly on February 7-8 in Kingston, Jamaica. On the agenda, reportedly, are: a report from the host of the 2015 Pan American Games, presentations by the bidders for the 2019 Pan Am Games, and proposals for Olympic Solidarity and Pan American Solidarity programs for 2013-16.
 
The following are reports from correspondents from Around The Rings
 
 
 
PASO Treasury Seems Strong 

During his report as treasurer, Danilo Carrera said that PASO’s finances are strong.
PASO's head table in Kingston. (ATR/Panasonic Lumix)

Carrera gave a report heavy inaccounting  projections with numbers that confused PASO delegates as to exactly how much sits in PASO’s coffers. 

What is clear: PASO has millions of dollars in the bank . 

Carrera said at the end of 2012, PASO has more than $55 million in liquid assets. 

“We are the continental organization with the most wealth,” Vazquez Rana said. But, he added, “wealth is not in the bank accounts . Wealth is all of us.”

Toronto 2015 Adjusts Athlete Numbers, Possibly Schedule 

The presentation of Toronto 2015 was the key agenda item on Thursday, taking up over an hour in the afternoon session. 
Michael Fennell, president of the Jamaica Olympic Association. (ATR/Panasonic Lumix)

Bob O’Doherty, sports director for the organizing committee, said the athlete quota was increased slightly for the Games to 6,058. He said organizers increased the quota after consultations with International Federations on the sports program. 

Michael Fennell, chair of the Toronto 2015 technical commission for PASO, said two events might prompt organizers to tweak competition schedules. 

He said the aquatics world championships are scheduled for after the start of the Games. Fennel said “consultation is ongoing” with FINA about creating a larger gap in the schedule. Some swimming events might take place prior to the opening ceremony. 

The FIFA Women’s World Cup is also scheduled before the Games, and Fennel said organizers were working to ensure female football stars from the Americas could make the Games. 

CEO Ian Troop offered a bold, if somewhat cautious prediction. 
Ian Troop. (ATR/Panasonic Lumix)

“Dare I say it,” he prognosticated, Toronto will stage “the best Pan American Games ever.

“Without a doubt, when people see what is being built, excitement is ramping up,” Troop told delegates. “We are building momentum.”

NOC visits for Toronto 2015 will begin April 1, and a list of NOC support programs will be distributed June 30. 

Vazquez Rana Analyzes London

President Vazquez Rana congratulated American NOCs for their work at the 2012 Olympics. 
Mario Vazquez Rana. (ATR/Panasonic Lumix)

“In London, the Americas had the best performance in history. We should now concentrate our athletes to have their best performance ever at the Pan American Games in Toronto and the Olympics in 2016,” he said.

“Our NOCs have started to unite and close  the gaps that used to separate them and get more medals than they had before.”
The PASO Extraordinary General Assembly ends on Friday. 

Pan American Games Bid Rules 

In Wednesday’s meeting of the PASO Executive Committee, the first rules for bidding for the 2019 Pan American Games were approved. 
The PASO Extraordinary General Assembly. (ATR/Panasonic Lumix)

Addressing the General Assembly, judicial chairman Mike Chambers summed up the requirements: campaigns must be marked by a “dignified and moderate character”.

To close all loopholes, PASO passed sweeping rules that will apply to all members of a bid city organization, NOC, government and sponsor so that responsibility of actions can’t be ignored. 

The rules largely mirror IOC rules for Olympic bids including bid cities are forbidden to give gifts  of substantial value, and PASO members can’t visit bid cities outside of “regular business”.

NOCs can visit bidding NOCs only once; no cash or “cash equivalent” can be given by bids; and bids can only present themselves at international events if all bids are afforded the same opportunity. 

Written by Ed Hula III. 
 

Bob Marley Heads to PASO; NOCs Have Questions Over Increased Funding

2/7/2013 (ATR) Chet Greene, president of the Antigua & Barbuda Olympic Committee, tells  Around the Rings  he welcomes the increased funding  from PASO, but says simply receiving more money isn’t what matters. 

Antigua & Barbuda sent three sprinters and a swimmer to the London Olympics. (Getty Images)

“It’s about programs and the mechanism for accounting,” he said. “Smaller NOCs need to be better resourced so we can be more competitive.

“We welcome more resources, especially small NOCs. 

“As a region we have to start to discuss the issue of training opportunities that come available due to these resources.”

He added that any increased funding must be used for “the greater good of sports.” 

Sports medicine is one area where small NOCs can apply  the increased funding, Greene said, highlighting the need for better medical care and nutritional assistance. 

"For the most part, we are happy-go-lucky," he told  ATR . 

"We compete on our natural athletic powers, but sports today have become very scientific. This is the present-day reality."

PASO Honors Marley 

Perhaps the most famous Jamaican of all, Bob Marley, was honored by PASO on Wednesday night. 
Bob Marley's birthday party beckons poolside. (ATR/Panasonic Lumix)

Richard Peterkin, president of the Saint Lucia Olympic Committee, organized a reception for delegates in honor of the reggae superstar’s birthday. Marley would have been 68, but he died in 1981. 

“He’s my hero,” Peterkin said. 

Marley’s strongest Olympic connection, Peterkin told  ATR , was the reggae star’s “love of football.” 

The reception took place poolside of the Jamaica Pegasus . While reviewing the schedule, Peterkin saw Wednesday was the lone night in Kingston without dinner for delegates. 

He wanted to spread the good vibes Jamaica is known for to delegates, and “let people know we’re still on the map.” 

Toronto 2015 Update

Toronto 2015 CEO Ian Troop says with London 2012 in the books, the Americas are turning their attention solely to the Pan American Games – and Toronto is ready. 
Ian Troop. (ATR)

“We’re right where we need to be,” he said. 

“You can’t under-communicate” at this stage of the planning, Troop added. 

Offering a preview of his presentation to the PASO Extraordinary General Assembly later this week, Troop said there will be a “full review of venues” including a “3-D fly-through” of select Games venues and a review of the sport program. 

A topic of concern raised by the PASO Executive Committee on Wednesday, Troop said, was the entry of foreign citizens to Canada. Obtaining a visa can be a difficult process but, he said, the national government approved the use of credentials as visas. 

With the Pan Am Games now commanding the attention of PASO, Troop said the organizing committee will increase its technical efforts. One department on display for the first time at PASO is the NOC Relations Department. 

Another sign of the increased importance of the Games is the presence of Canadian broadcaster CBC for the meeting. CBC will broadcast the 2015 Pan Ams. Several representatives of the Ontario government also made the trip to Kingston. 

Troop had one piece of advice for the four 2019 bid cities: Bolivar, Venezuela; La Punta, Argentina; Lima, Peru and Santiago, Chile.

“Think of these Games as more than a sporting event,” he counselled. “They’ve got to have an impact socially in your community. Have a legacy beyond infrastructure.

“Think big," Troop said.

Written by Ed Hula III. 

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The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) will be hosting an Extraordinary General Assembly of the Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO/ODEPA) on 7th and  8th February 2013 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston. Attending will be representatives of the 41National Olympic Committees of the Americas, including Jamaica and special guests will be delegates from the Pan American Sports Federations (APASC/ACODEPA), the organizing committee for the next Pan American Games in Toronto 2015, the Rio 2016 Olympic Games organizing committee as well as cities bidding to host the 2019 Pan American Games.

The main items on the agenda are to receive progress reports  from the Toronto 2015 organising committees, presentations from the cities bidding to host the 2019 Games and proposals for the Olympic and Pan American Solidarity  activities  over the period of the Olympic Quadrennium 2013 - 2016.

With the presence of the sports federations of the Americas there  will be an excellent opportunity for the equivalent sports organizations  in Jamaica to interface  with that leadership  to pursue programmes for the development of the various sports in Jamaica.

PASO is led by President Mario Vazquez Rana a Mexican newspaper magnate. The 41member countries  of PASO who will be represented at the assembly are:

  • ANTIGUA & BARBUDA (ANT)
  • ARGENTINA (ARG)
  • ARUBA (ARU)
  • BAHAMAS (BAH)
  • BARBADOS (BAR)
  • BELIZE (BLZ)
  • BERMUDA (BER)
  • BOLIVIA (BOL)
  • BRAZIL (BRA)
  • CANADA (CAN)
  • CAYMAN ISLANDS (CAY)
  • CHILE (CHI)
  • COLUMBIA (COL)
  • COSTA RICA  (CRC)
  • CUBA (CUB)
  • DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (DOM)
  • DOMINICA (DMA)
  • ECUADOR (ECU)
  • EL SALVADOR (ESA)
  • GRENADA
  • GUATEMALA
  • GUYANA
  • HAITI
  • HONDURAS
  • JAMAICA (JAM)
  • MEXICO (MEX)
  • NICARAGUA (NCA)
  • PANAMA (PAN)
  • PARAGUAY (PAR)
  • PERU (PER)
  • PUERTO RICO (PUR)
  • ST. KITTS and NEVIS (SKN)
  • ST. LUCIA (LCA)
  • ST. VINCENT and the GRENADINES (VIN)
  • SURINAME (SUR)
  • TRINIDAD and TOBAGO (TRI)
  • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (USA)
  • URUGUAY (URU)
  • U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS (ISV)
  • VENEZUELA (VEN)
  • VIRGIN ISLANDS, BRITISH (IVB)