Although representatives from Lima Peru and Bogota Colombia failed to appear before the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees in January to promote their 2015 Pan Am bids, the Toronto Sun says they now appear to be ramping up their bids.
The newspaper reports Carlos Paz Soldan, president of the Peruvian Olympic Committee, has been lobbying for more than a year to get the country into the main stream of international sports and wants to get there with the Lima 2015 Pan Am Games.
And in Bogota, Andres Botero, the head of the Colombian Olympic Committee, has been calling on favours to get the 2015 Games. The newspaper says he is well known and respected, and has friends with votes.
Lima’s president Alan Garcia has reportedly encouraged governments to ramp up preparations, said Soldan. The Toronto Sun said until Toronto’s entry into the competition, Lima was emerging as a surprise favourite in the bidding.
Soldan said, “the government has started to work with athletes to push sports. We could have our athletes ready in seven or eight years and it would coincide with the Games. It would be a big celebration”.
Lima’s streets are being paved and there’s a new airport and an Olympic village site. “We have a coliseum for basketball and volleyball. We have an Olympic-size swimming pool. The mayor of Lima is working with us…”
A veteran of Olympic bids is quoted in the Toronto Sun saying, “one of the problems Bogota has is high altitude. If it was me doing the lobbying I’d be going to all the Caribbean delegates and asking if they want their athletes competing (at 2,600 metres) above sea level”.