With only 48 hours in Peru, the fastest athlete in history, Usain Bolt, visited the stadium that will host the athletics competition at the Pan American and Parapan American Games.
For close to an hour, the former runner visited the facilities alongside Lima Mayor, Jorge Muñoz; Lima 2019 Executive Director, Carlos Neuhaus; UK Ambassador to Peru, Kate Harrisson; Panam Sports Director of Communications, Alejandro Goycoolea; President of the Ibero-American Athletics Association, Óscar Fernández. Iván Dibos, from the International Olympic Committee; Lucha Villar, from the National Paralympic Association of Peru; and President of the Athletics Federation, Gustavo Cárdenas, among others, also attended this event.
Bolt arrived at 11:41 a.m. and, upon entering the venue, he visited the boxes, grandstands and then made it to the competition track where, on the 100-meter stretch, the officials exchanged gifts. Panam Sports gifted him a book and a trophy of the Pan American Sports Organization with the Olympic rings.
The world record holder handed out a pair of trophies and tennis shoes to commemorate his visit, which was followed by dozens of media outlets that did not miss a single detail of this special event.
After the gift exchange, the former runner knelt down on the athletics track and put his hands in a cement mold, leaving his mark. He then unveiled the plaque that will carry the cement slab commemorating his visit. The plaque will be able to be seen and photographed by all those attending the various competitions at VIDENA during the Pan American and Parapan American Games.
“We’re happy to inaugurate the athletics track in this way, with an international icon, and for people to see the Olympic-quality infrastructure of the stadium. It’s a joy to have a stage on which we hope to break many records, just like Usain Bolt. This is an important milestone for Peruvian athletics,” said the Lima 2019 Executive Director, Carlos Neuhaus.
Meanwhile, Usain Bolt was very excited to be in the recently remodeled Athletics Stadium at VIDENA. “I’m happy to be here. It’s amazing to have the chance to tour the stadium. In Jamaica, we don’t have an athletics track like this for training. What’s most important is that this will remain for the new generations. These facilities need to be appreciated for the future, which will be great. I’m very pleased and this track is wonderful for Peruvians. I hope you use it and beat many records. It’s an international-level track,” stated the fastest runner in the world.
At the same time, the mayor of Lima thanked Usain Bolt for his visit precisely when we are gearing up for the Pan American and Parapan American Games. “It’s a pleasure to meet Usain Bolt and for him to be able to see the facilities that will remain as a legacy for Lima and the country. This will enable us to have more athletes at the level of Usain Bolt,” said Jorge Muñoz.
Bolt was thrilled with Milco, the Lima 2019 mascot, against whom he dared to run a few meter; he then finished with his signature “lightning bolt” pose.
THE ATHLETICS STADIUM
Usain Bolt was able to visit the new athletics stadium, which has capacity for more than 6000 spectators and is already finished. The final stage is still pending: handing over the facility to the Peruvian Athletics Federation. Top-quality materials were used for the athletics track, similar to those used at the London 2012 Olympic Games and the same used for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The Athletic Track passed the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) certification tests, having undergone laboratory and delimiting tests. In this sense, the venue will be ready to host first-class competitions because of its world-class infrastructure.
ABOUT LIMA 2019
The opening ceremony of the Lima 2019 Pan American Games will be held at the National Stadium on July 26, 2019. This continental event will gather 6680 athletes from 41 countries and delegations from the Americas.
There will be 17 days of competitions and ceremonies, between July 26 and August 11, 2019, which will take place in 14 districts of Lima and Callao at various venues like VIDENA, Villa María Sports Center, Callao Regional Village, Villa El Salvador Sports Center, Punta Rocas, among others.
The Lima 2019 Pan American Games will include 39 sports and 62 disciplines, in which athletes will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals. A total of 23 disciplines are qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 the Olympic Games.
The Parapan American Games will gather 1890 Para athletes from 33 countries, participating in 17 sports and 18 disciplines. Competitions will take place between August 23 and September 1, 2019. Fourteen sports will be qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
ABOUT PANAM SPORTS
Panam Sports (formerly known as Pan American Sports Organization - PASO) is the governing body of the Pan American Games and its structure and actions are defined by the Olympic Charter. Panam Sports is the leader of sports and the Olympic Movement in the Americas and encourages the sports development and supports the work of the 41 National Olympic Committees members of the organization in order to inspire more world-class performances and the next generation of athletes across our region.