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CARLOS NEUHAUS: “I AM CERTAIN THAT THE LIMA 2027 GAMES WILL BE WONDERFUL”

The former Executive Director of the Lima 2019 Pan American Games analyzes the victory of his country in the last election of the host city of the 2027 Pan American Games and is optimistic about the success of the continental event

 He acknowledged that the biggest challenge will be improving transportation and asserts that the Games “will be unforgettable”.

When the Peruvian delegation arrived at the Panam Sports Extraordinary General Assembly in Miami, the presence of an “old friend” of the Pan American Family surprised the attendees. None other than Carlos Neuhaus, former Executive Director and President of the Local Organizing Committee of the Lima 2019 Games, was in the meeting’s room.

“I came to help with everything that is necessary so that, hopefully, the Pan American Games return to Lima in 2027”, said Neuhaus.

When the President of Panam Sports announced Lima as the winning city, joy was unleashed in the General Assembly and one of the persons who was most congratulated was precisely Carlos Neuhaus.

10 days have gone by since that historic moment for Peruvian sport and more than 4 and a half years since this outstanding Peruvian entrepreneur became famous for leading the successful Lima 2019 Pan American Games. Panam Sports contacted him to know his impressions of the triumph, how Lima is preparing for this new challenge and, above all, what to improve for the multi-sport festival of 2027.

“The victory was something very exciting, since it was not exclusively thanks to the work that was done a month before as soon as we found out that the bid process was open; it was the product of what was done in Lima 2019. That makes me very happy and very committed to what is coming now for all of Peru. The competition with Asuncion, Paraguay, was good and healthy, as it should always be”, said Carlos Neuhaus.

More than 4 years have gone by since excellent Games were hosted by Peru….how has the legacy of Lima 2019 been managed?

We are very concerned about the legacy. The Games’ legacy is the most important thing because the Games must be prepared for the day after too, not only to fulfill the commitment of the event, and that is what we did. That helped us a lot to win over Asuncion, as all the venues are in perfect conditions and functional.

What are the aspects that Lima should improve for 2027?

The challenge of Lima is in the city. The Mayor has understood this perfectly and fortunately, he has already obtained the resources.  The important thing is the improvement that the city needs. I believe that the people will collaborate a lot, as was the case in the previous Pan American Games when the Peruvians were very concerned about showing their best possible faces to our brother countries. I think that if there is one thing we are known for, it is for being good hosts and treating our visitors well.  In that sense, there are  obviously many issues to improve because no city should stand still, but Lima is going to get moving and show the outside world that we are really prepared and that we will work hard to make the 2027 Pan American Games unforgettable.

One of the most difficult issues in 2019 was, undoubtedly, transportation and traffic in the city. What will Lima do to solve this issue?

Yes, you are right about transportation. Line two of the subway, which goes from East to West, is going to be very useful. Traffic in Lima is being rationalized; road corridors are being built and, in that sense, I believe that people will notice it. I think the citizens of Lima are going to understand it and we are going to improve trafficability and road culture. We have enough time to change and improve in these aspects, which, if you see, were all solved during the Pan American Games, but there is room to do better.

There is talk of 300 million and a fraction as the budget for 2027. Is this correct based on your experience?

The budget is like everything else, it is an estimate of what could be. The great advantage is that we know what needs to be done and we already know the costs. We already have the details of the things that are needed and, in that sense, that is the budget that we have come up with. It may be a little less, it may be a little more, but I do want to make it clear that in Lima 2019 we had a saving of approximately 300 million with respect to the initial budget.  These savings were mainly in the works, but also in the Ceremonies, which were much less expensive than the ceremonies of previous mega events.

You were the Executive Director in 2019. What will be your position and responsibility for these new Games?

I was the Executive Director and President of the Organizing Committee. I don’t really know what my position will be for 2027, I don’t think it will be an executive position, but what I do know for sure is that I will always be at the side of the Pan American Games and of my country so that things are done well. You will see me close by.  Just as I did now, when we won the election, I worked hand in hand with the Olympic Committee, with Legacy and with the Municipality of Lima and the necessary stakeholders, and I will continue to do so for my country and for these marvelous Games.

What can the athletes and NOCs expect from the 2027 Pan American Games?

Our motto for the presentation was “We all win”. The idea is that not only Peru wins, but also all the countries of the Americas that participate in these Games, which I am sure will be wonderful. The great challenge for us is to surpass ourselves and I am going to collaborate to make it happen, wherever I am, and in that sense, I am very happy that this is a recognition of everything that was done in Lima 2019. The venues are all ready and functional; we are going to host several international championships this year and for sure, in the coming years too. Therefore, I am very happy and would like to thank all of you in Panam Sports and the Olympic Committees that supported us, and also to those who did not support us.