NEVEN ILIC REUNITES WITH CHILE’S NEW SPORTS MINISTER JAIME PIZARRO
The President of Panam Sports and the new leader of sport in Chile met for almost two hours with the goal of beginning to work more closely to organize the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.
“We are going to make a great team and we are going to have some great Pan American Games in Santiago,” said Panam Sports Neven Ilic.
SANTIAGO, CHILE (March 18, 2023) — Between 2007 and 2009, Neven Ilic and Jaime Pizarro led sport in Chile together. Neven Ilic was the President of the Chilean Olympic Committee while Jaime Pizarro was the Undersecretary of Sports during the first government of Michelle Bachelet. Together they inaugurated the Santiago Olympic Training Center and have maintained a warm and close relationship ever since.
Today, fate brings them together again with a common goal, the most important sporting event in the history of Chile — The Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. Now their roles have changed, with Ilic serving as the President of Panam Sports and Pizarro as the new Chilean Sports Minister in the government of Chilean President Gabriel Boric.
A reunion was sorely needed between the two authorities with just 216 days remaining until the most important and largest sporting event in the history of Chile since the 1962 World Cup begins.
Panam Sports President Neven Ilic and the new Chilean Sports Minister Jaime Pizarro met for nearly two hours at the office of the Pan American Sports Organization in Santiago.
Advances in infrastructure, the operations within the Santiago 2023 Organizing Committee and determining the best way to work together to ensure the success of the continental event were just a few of the topics discussed at the meeting.
“It is a great pleasure to reunite with Neven. Now we are looking forward to this tremendous challenge of delivering the Pan American and Parapan American Games. We recognize that Panam Sports is a very important ally for us,” said new Chilean Sports Minister Jaime Pizarro.
“It is a privilege, but at the same time it’s a personal and professional challenge as well as a challenge for our country and for sport. I have had the opportunity to meet with athletes and when I ask them how they feel, they tell me they are anxious. Because surely being in your country, competing in your country and feeling the support of your family, your people and your compatriots is a tremendously outstanding milestone. I am very happy for this moment and I hope that everything continues to progress in a very good way,” added Minister Pizarro.
“It is a tremendous pleasure. To see him working again in sport and knowing that is what he likes and what he is passionate about. It is an honor for me to take on the Pan American Games with him. I think he has many challenges but he has a tremendous ability to pull everything off. He did it in his life as an athlete, and as an Undersecretary. Now as Minister, I have no doubt that we are going to make a great team and we are going to have some great Pan American Games in Santiago,” said Panam Sports President Neven Ilic.
The Pan American Games are right around the corner. Less than eight months remain until the continental festival begins. There is no time to lose, and this is clear to these two Chilean authorities who after 14 years will be working together again to lead this historic challenge for Chile and for sport in the Americas.
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