Four hundred and twenty-two Canadian athletes competing in 37 sports will proudly wear the red and white during the 2003 Pan American Games that will take place from August 1 – 17, 2003 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) announced today.
Chef de Mission Dr. Gene Sutton officially announced the team today at a press conference at Centre National Multisport in Montreal.
“I am honoured to be involved with such a skilled and highly motivated team,” said Dr. Sutton. “The team is as multi-faceted as Canada. It is comprised of athletes representing 11 provinces and territories. It includes a nine-time Pan American athlete (Ian Millar, equestrian) and a 15-time Pan Am medallist (Joanne Malar, swimming). However, all have a common focus: to achieve their goals both on and off the field of play.”
Who will be Canada’s flag bearer for the XIX Pan American Games? A three-time Pan American Team athlete, a six-time world champion, 11-time world record holder, and volunteer with “In the Wakes,” a program that helps underprivileged children reach their dreams. Jaret Llewellyn from water skiing will proudly lead his team into the stadium for the opening ceremonies on August 1.
“What a surprise! I am proud to be Canadian and everything that this country stands for,” said Llewellyn. “Being the flag bearer is not only the recognition of one’s athletic career but it provides the opportunity to open the door for me to reach kids and get them excited about sport and everything it stands for.”
Being aware of some of the logistical challenges that face the Pan American Games Organizing Committee, the COC has selected a fitting motto for the Canadian team: Estamos Listos – We are ready.
“The COC has taken every possible step to ensure the safety, comfort and security of our team,” said Dr. Sutton. “We have rented air conditioning units, we have a nurse as part of our Health Care staff and we have a contingency plan to take over the transportation of our athletes during the Games in case of any transportation problems on-site.”
Approximately 5,000 athletes from 42 countries of North, South and Central America and the Caribbean will participate at these Games.