Work to stage the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru is ramping up with just 20 months to go until the event kicks off in the summer of 2019.
The Pan American Games will run from July 26 – August 11 with more than 9,000 athletes competing over 17 days of events.
This will be followed by the Parapan Am Games which will run from August 21 – September 1, involving 2,835 athletes at 14 competition venues.
The PanAmerican Games will be staged in five competition clusters at 22 competition venues.
Carlos Labarthe, head of administration for the Lima 2019 Organising Committee told delegates at the Host City conference in Glasgow this week:
For the Peruvians this is the biggest event of my generation. We are very optimistic but it is quite a big challenge. We have some expertise locally but that doesn’t mean we know everything and we are bringing in expertise. We have signed a government to government agreement with the UK Department for International Trade.
The agreement covers support in six main areas including infrastructure, operations, project management, workforce and transfer of knowledge.
The team of British experts has an accumulated experience of over 100 large sporting events, including the 2012 Olympic Games in London, to help the Special Project ensure effective time-management and quality delivery of the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.
Labarthe said Lima would be spending $1.5 billion to stage the Games which will take place in 22 competition venues concentrated in the south of the capital.
The Athletes Village will accommodate 9,000 athletes. The project for the construction of the village began in June and it is expected to be completed by the end of February 2019. It includes 1,100 appartments which will be used for housing after the Games have finished.
Contracts for construction of one of the main competition areas at Videna are in the process of being signed. Labarthe added:
On land owned by the Ministry of Sport at Villa Maria del Triunfo we are going to build rugby fields, hockey fields, softball, baseball and water polo facilities. Most of the team sports are going to be held in Villa Maria.
A contract is hopefully going to be signed in a couple of weeks and work should be completed by the end of 2018 because we need to test a lot of these venues.
Major construction will also be carried out on an athletics centre and at the aquatics centre, as well as a velodrome and multi-sports complex. Equestrian venues are also being upgraded. Labarthe added:
In terms of legacy, we definitely need this to be something that transforms our city. There has never been a multi-sport event of this size in Peru before, so the sport legacy is going to be incredible. We need the projects to be sustainable not only in the short term but also in the medium and long term.
Image: The National Stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies for the Games.