A vow to expand the resources available to Athlete Commissions, education regarding Olympic Solidarity funds available to athletes and lessons about anti-doping policies featuring an unforgettable interview with Olympic Champion Asafa Powell highlighted the Athlete Forum that began today in Cancun, Mexico. 

CANCUN, MEXICO (December 2, 2022) — The first day of the Panam Sports Athlete Forum confirms Panam Sports’ promise to put athletes at the heart of every decision taken by the Organization.

Panam Sports President Neven Ilic opened the third edition of the Athlete Forum with exciting news for the athletes of the Americas, pledging to provide an additional $5,000 USD to the Athlete Commissions of each of the 41 member nations of the continental organization.

Olympic Solidarity makes $10,000 available annually to the NOC Athlete Commissions throughout the world, with Panam Sports additional contributions bringing the available annual total to $15,000. NOC Athlete Commissions can use these funds to help start, structure and activate the AC in their country.

A panel led by athletes and Panam Sports AC President Aliann Pompey discussed the challenges and benefits of starting Athlete Commissions in countries that don’t yet have them. Panam Sports continues to seek 100-percent inclusion of athletes with a voting seat on the Executive Committee of each of the 41 NOCs of the Americas and the creation of an Athlete Commission to ensure their needs are met.

Associate Director of Olympic Solidarity, Olivier Niamkey, discussed the funds that are available to the NOCs of the Americas and their athletes as well as how to apply and access these funds to advance their careers.

Representatives from the ITA, Caribbean RADO and WADA delivered vital information to the athletes about how to educate themselves about the changing policies of clean sport and how to ensure they always ‘Play True’.

The first session of the three-day forum concluded with an intriguing interview and discussion with World and Olympic Champion Asafa Powell from Jamaica. Asafa told the more than 100 athletes in attendance about his greatest triumphs, the secret behind his successes and the dangers of doping including the lessons learned from his surprise positive result and following suspension from Athletics in 2014.

The athletes asked Asafa a variety of questions about his career on and off the field of play, touching on topics such as his recent retirement and when he knew to hang up his spikes, how he handled the pressure and expectations of victory, how he recovered from his biggest disappointments, the impact his positive doping result had on his career and how to avoid making the same mistake in their careers.

The Panam Sports Athlete Forum continues tomorrow and runs through December 4. Those not in attendance can follow the forum live from Cancun, Mexico on the free Panam Sports Channel. Download the mobile App now to join the conversation!

Click here to view photos from Day 1 of the Athlete Forum.
Click here to download the photos.