SWIMMING CAMP BEGINS IN PUERTO RICO
Swimmers from 20 different countries who are preparing to compete at Lima 2019 are gathered on the Caribbean island for the latest Panam Sports Training Camp.
Wednesday, May 28, 2019 (San Juan, Puerto Rico) – Swimmers from 20 different countries who are preparing to compete at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games are gathered at the Olympic Sports Complex in Salinas, Puerto Rico until June 12.
“One of the main objectives of Panam Sports is to develop sport in all of the countries in the region, and with that goal we have organized numerous Training Camps in different nations across the continent. This time it’s in Puerto Rico, a country where the Olympic Committee is doing a great job and that has offered its facilities to organize a swimming camp with athletes of different nationalities. Here the athletes and trainers share experiences, interact with athletes from different nationalities and prepare for their upcoming challenges in the best way, which for many of them is the Lima 2019 Pan American Games,” said Panam Sports President, Neven Ilic.
The training camp is sponsored by Panam Sports, the American Swimming Union (UANA), the Puerto Rican Olympic Committee and the Puerto Rican Swimming Federation.
For the President of COPUR, Sara Rosario Vélez, the event means the re-opening of the Albergue Olímpico pool, one of several sports facilities that suffered severe damage when Hurricane Maria hit the island, “for which we are very happy.”
“We always wanted Puerto Rico to be considered one of the host countries of the Panam Sports camps. We know our country has excellent sports facilities that we need to use to promote sports tourism with greater intensity, and the Olympic Hostel needs activities like this,” said Rosario Vélez.
Sara Rosario says this event is also important because it is a continuation of the work being done throughout the region by Panam Sports to ensure every country in the continent can match the high-performance and sport level seen in other continents.
“We hope it will be the first of many camps with other sports, not only for Puerto Rico, but for the benefit of all the countries in our region to increase the capacity of our athletes. Sometimes we look at Europe and we see that we have to raise our level. In the Executive Committee of Panam Sports, we are looking at the ways in which we can all help us as an entire continent,” the COPUR President said.
“The camp will have a variety of activities. In addition to practicing in the pool, there will be talks with SADCE (Sports Health and Exercise Sciences) personnel, and specialists from Colorado and Canada who seek the best preparation for the athletes who go to the Games. From Puerto Rico, we will have six swimmers who will take great advantage of all the knowledge of the experts during the camp, with some heading to Lima 2019 and others looking forward to Panama 2022,” said Puerto Rico Swimming Federation President, Morgan Toro.
Gianluca Alberani, the leader of Azura Aquatics in Florida, was hired by Panam Sport to help develop this camp as well as the first swimming camp organized by Panam Sports in Florida in 2018.
“The goal of the camp last year was to achieve the marks for the Pan American Games in Lima. This year, the level is more advanced, since several athletes who have the marks and are going to participate in the Games are invited. It is more to help them with the motivation and specific training to reach the finals or even the Olympic qualification to Tokyo 2020,” said Alberani, who is visiting Puerto Rico for the third time.
This will be the first swimming event to take place at the Olympic hostel since Hurricane Maria passed, and it’s the second swimming camp organized by Panam Sports. Two Puerto Rican athletes attended the first camp in 2018.