The Pan Am Games-Is anybody in the world watching?

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Golo100

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These Pan Am Games are following the same pattern of all the others....nobody is watching. If I recall anything in any game is perhaps the incident at the Mexico games where the "Black Power" sign by U.S. black track and field athletes raised their hands in a rebellious manner. Other than that, can anyone remember anything about any Pan Am game?

The 2003 version of the opening ceremonies in Santo Domingo was a lavish version of "how to spend money on a losing business". With almost 10,000 performers overwhelming the small attendance of 18,000(most of them freebies and government employees) this will go into history as the biggest bang for an unknown event. The world press was just as unimpressed. CNN Sports had news about the games in their hidden version called "other sports". This event did not even qualify for a one-liner in their opening page. Tyson*s bankruptcy was bigger news. In Miami, for example, the news about Hippo vs. the Devil was bigger news. So was the "Alternative Games" by Father Rogelio which had an opening ceremony with tear gas and gun-shooting. Our own TV networks ignored the games. Only official channels carried the opening and if it were not for the Baninter scandal, which gave the government access to channel 27 and 13, this would have been the worst covered games of all time. Channel 13 and 27 only carried the visual and music without commentaries. They had no paid staff to help.

The cost of this waste of taxpayer money will exceed US$300 million and thanks to Hippo I will get paid $50,000 pesos a month in interest payments for the next six months for the money he borrowed from about 1000 people like me to invest in these games. I am not kidding. The games will end on August 17 and only a week later, Hippo will have to pay an average of 32% interest to Banco Central certificate owners who lent him the money. As happy as we may be for reaping big benefits from this waste of money, I personally would have preferred making money some other way. But I am no fool. If Hippo is helping our regular banks disappear with his megalomania, we have no choice but to go Central Bank. Now Banco Mercantil has joined Baninter and Bancredito as the best banks to help bank presidents buy their own yacht and airplane fleet(throw in a Ferrari or two)

At the opening, Puello and Vasquez Ra?a ordered nearly 2000 ticket holders to move from their cheaper seats to a concentrated area to show a packed attendance. But our TV cameramen did not get the message and they constantly showed the entire empty section of the arena. Hippo was booed despite an appeal by Puello not to boo anybody. Hippo had to cut his speech short to avoid a resounding boo. Security was inefficient to say the least, because it relied on massive numbers of military forces with repressive attitude, not on technology or finesse.

Even the choreography was a disaster, considering the amount of money and people thrown. The flag choreography ended up in a disorderly rendition of our flag. The colors were all over the place. The dancers were lost. The white fabric showing the flag was totally unprofessional. The red and blue players could not line up straight anywhere and created some weird patterns that could hardly be understood. The Virgin Mary was no winner either. Singers Sergio Vargas, Millie and Eddy Herrera wore mismatched clothes that look terribly awkward with those embroidered giant umbrellas. The merengue dancers were not the best. They should have reduced the number of dancers and concentrate on professional groups.

About the best part was the lighting of the flame with that home run swing by a youth and Pedro Martinez saving the opening with his flag bearing at the end. It was scary seeing our world champion runner Felix Sanchez running and jumping around with the flag risking injury and ending the games for us right there. He is our greatest hope for an individual gold medal.

Except for the Cubans, the rest of the countries can go home. This is a Cuban show all the way. The Americans will win with sheer numbers. But their quality people stayed home. The men basketball team is a bunch of nobodies. Brasil and Argentina rely mostly on teams sports that Americans have neglected these games. All in all, there is only one charismatic figure, other than a Cuban or Cubans in these games...Felix Sanchez. If he loses by sheer misfortune, the games are over. At the basketball opening there were hardly 10% of the seats taken. Thanks to their packing all the games into one ticket and leaving the game with the Dominicans for last, they showed a higher attendance at the end. If they had ticketed games individually no one, but the cameramen would have witnessed the game between the USA and Argentina, the two basketball powers, besides Cuba. Freebies were the order of the day and more holidays and government employee furloughs will be necessary to fill seats.

Actually, the games were over before they started. What is not over is how we are going to pay for them.

TW
 

DCfred

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I have not seen anything in the US media, not even a passing word about it. Even in Telemundo & Univision not much there, either.
 

Jasper

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Jan 10, 2002
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CBC

Radio Canada had a two-hour show on Panam games yesterday on TV (in French). CBC showed 1 hour of opening ceromonies. I was quiet impressed with most of the show. Even proud at times. Alot of it was the announcers scratching their heads as to how a country where people make $40/week on average can afford such an extravagance. Most was very positive though. It's over and done with so one must be positive. Just wish someone here could have sold Hippo the Big Owe (Olympic Stadium) here in Mtl. Just hope they pay it off faster than our disaster (+25 yrs). Could have been worse....a total embarrassment with the games being pulled at the last minute due to incomplete facilities but still having to foot the bill. Like alot of things, the real return likely won't show for years, but if the people that go have a good time, that does wonders for tourism. Hopefully it will be a coming of age for the country. Even if too many people aren't watching, most locals there will not be aware of this anyway. It's all in the spin of the tale.
 

Hillbilly

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Jan 1, 2002
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OPh Golo

That was Mexico City Olympics, not the Pan Am Games.

As for the Opening I was shocked at the disorder, even more astonished that they would put the Virgen de la Altagracia in public display!. These are games for goodness sakes not some stupid bible thumping campaign for money to save souls!!
How that faux-pas(sp?) could get by the organizers is beyond me!....

As for the poor athletes, at least they will get 15 days of good food and some of them will eat well for three weeks-notice that they were the first int he Village??

30-6 was it in field hockey? Poor guys.

Only bright spot for me was the torch lighting, since the very first runner-Donato V?squez- is one of my "kids" and his sister is one of my "foster" kids...lived with us for 7 years or so...He was a champion runner in the 70s...Pedro and Juan were great and the touch with the kid was very good. Sort of like the opening in Barcelona...

Later..

HB
 

ERICKXSON

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Dec 24, 2002
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YOU GUYS SOUND LIKE A BAD MOVIE REVIEW, THE FREAKING CEREMONY WAS AMAZING CONSIDERING THE CIRCUNSTANCES, NO OTHER COUNTRY IN LATIN AMERICA COULD OF DONE A BETTER JOB, THE DOMINICAN ECONOMY IS NOT in IT'S BEST SHAPE, 2 YEARS DELAY DUE TO VENEZUELA'S POLITICAL WAR DIDN'T HELP MUCH EITHER BUT IDITOS LOVE TO CRITICIZE WITHOUT THE SLIGHTLESS IDEA OF how this came about.
 

kjdrga

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Mar 25, 2002
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The open ceremony got about a minute coverage here in the DC area but that's it. Haven't heard a thing about them since, and the CBC website has a forum of upset fans who are complaining that there will only be 1/2 coverage in Canada...

Guess you'd have to be there to enjoy it....
 

Robert

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Jan 2, 1999
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ERICKXSON...

But I read the news everyday for the past 5 years? Damn, I must be one of those idiots your talking about. Then again, some peoples post's are easy to criticize.

When a crowd boo's on cue and the organizer of the games (Puello) has to ask the crowd to show some respect to Vasquez Ra?a (Pan Am boss) it makes you wonder?

The stadium for the opening DR baseball game was half empty and now I'm told all the tickets to all the football games are sold out. What's up with that?

I could go on and on, but it's not my place, I'm just an idiot.

But not all is lost.

At least I can find the "caps lock"...
 

goatfarmnga

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Jun 24, 2003
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The games..

Never even heard of it hear in Ga on the news/sports. Only on DR1 did I hear of any speak of the Pan Am games..Guess you'd have to be an athlete to follow it! :) PAm
 

Hillbilly

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Father forgive him, for he knoows not...

Son, that opening ceremony was a sorry excuse for ceremony.

If anyone reading this can tell me what was going on, besides the dancing and singing-Heck I love the music-but the movement of the people on the field was totally confusing rather than supporting the songs. Especially during Ojal? que lluva caf? ????????

The kids did get stuck during the Dominican flag ceremony, and I felt sorry for their problems, like most people did: Their peice of white cloth didn't want to unravel.. But, overall, it was just an "okey" presentation.

The TV coverage just plain sucked! It was poor at best. shots that should have been from the air were ignored-that would have caught the play of the people ont he field, but revealed the empty seats?

Yes, it has been an "effort" but to say that it was anything beyond that is an exageration.

BTW, Cuba won all the gold in Greco-Roman, DR got a silver medal, the first of the games.

Another thing that really bothered me was Felix S?nchez cavorting all over with the Dominican flag. Especialy during the flag raising ceremony! That was outrageous conduct for a guy that should have known better. Methinks he was compensating for using his US passport ???? (Just wondering if he did?)

HB
 

GypsyGRL

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Apr 26, 2003
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The Winnipeg Free Press had a small write up re: opening ceremonies, said it was a specatacular showing of DR culture?! I would take that as a compliment. Hoping to read more due to the fact they were the last to host the Games and there are Manitoba athletes at the Games.

One of the athletes from Canada was quoted as saying there are always glitches, regardless of the location of any competition, true athletes can get by the glitches by being adaptable and flexible. Here's to adaptable athletes!!

Hopefully the pay off for hosting the games will show in the DR youth. Hosting an event like this tends to instill alot of pride and renewed interest in the sports being showcase. Youth and sports is always a positive pay off, even if its at the expense of the pocket book.
 

Jane J.

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Jan 3, 2002
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We watched the opening ceremonies (CBC in English), and after reading about all the last-minute running around and the economic state of the country and just hating Mej?a in general with every fibre of my being, I thought they were pretty good. I'm so sentimental, though, that any overhead shots of the stadium caused me to scavenge the surrounding area, saying things like "Look! Someone walking down the street! I wonder if he's selling pastelitos..."

The clincher came while watching Fefita, who my husband says finally has had some good surgery. Just watching her gave me a lump in my throat and then I look over at him, and his eyes are all teary. I can't believe it's come to this...Fefita, you never used to make me cry...
 

GypsyGRL

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Another article in the Wpg Free Press re the Cdn Gymnastic team and their silver medal. Most of the article was regarding the "stomach virus" the cdn athletes are coming down with. All the gymnastic team had it, one did not compete and several of the girls basketball team is down with it. They were complaining that first they had to watch the water now they are worried about the food. The wonderful chef that is coordinating all the meals will not be happy about this, I'm sure. Nothing on T.V. at all!
 

Golo100

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Jan 5, 2002
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Here is more

One of the reasons the performers who formed the flag were all over the place except the real place of the colors had to do more with hunger and thirst than poor choreographic direction.

I got it from reliable sources that family and parents were deeply worried about their kids performing, because the government did not provide food and water for them, and even worse, prevented the families from bringing them food due to the extreme security, which was more oppression than security finesse.

Last night it appeared that the excellent baseball game between the U.S.A. and DR was sold out. NOT SO!! Hippo gave orders to give out free tickets for the entire bleacher section to show a full house. Besides, the entire VIP area was just freebies for Hippo and his giant entourage, which practicly included the entire palace staff. 8000 freebies were in the bleachers alone!!! When Hippos name was announced there was a giant booooooooooo!

The basketball game between DR and Brazil was also "sold out".HEHEHEHE! I heard half of the fans got in free, before getting scalped at the parking lot by policemen in plainclothes. Stolen radios were the order of the day.

The DR baseball team performed better than expected considering that the coaching staff conducted little scouting of the USA team. The poor information about this great USA team was widespread. None of the TV or radio announcers knew who these superkids were, specially J. Weaver, the next coming of Nolan Ryan. This kid simply blew away the entire overweight and out-of-shape Dominican team. Little did they know that the USA coaching staff had "the best pitching prospect" in the major leagues ready for them as a surprise. He proved why.

The USA baseball team was almost perfect. The defense was impecable....almost MLB All Star quality. This kid Weaver can pitch, field, throw the bases, hold runners in place and has more tricks than a veteran major leaguer. I would love to see this kid in a final with the Cubans. What I admire more about this USA team is their youth. These kids still use pampers!!! Compare that to the DR and Cuban grandaddies.

Did you also know that the concessions to the games are owned by Baninter medical boy, the same guy whose last name means "RENT". The same guy who before the Baninter fiasco was one of the most active sportsmen in the world driving fast cars and boats, and today, while in jail, has every disease in the medical books. By the way, a sandwich at the games is $160 pesos. A soft drink is $50. Water is $30.

The blackout of the games worldwide continues. The only news forthcoming will be every time the USA wins a medal. Bush is on a reelection bid and he is going to use his boys as a catapault every time they get a medal. Thank you George Bush, you may save the tourist value of the games.

Mexicans are finally growing up in size. Their women volleyball team were all pretty tall girls. Too bad the boys are still SHORTY and bien campesinos con caras de Mayas. They look like most of our athletes..CHOPOS.

The rich only get richer. Did you notice the beautifully designed logo of the USA baseball team and the impecable cap and uniform? Compare that to our DR team uniform...a disgrace!!!! Someone stole the money. Our boys look like a West African tribe. And that ugly Mr. Pemberton, who is older than Bob Hope should have all that cheap jewelry and plastic protective junk all over his uniform banned from the games...QUE MALDITO CHOPO!!!

Our pitchers have not seen a barber shop in months. Hippo should have taken time from his "visiting" schedule to check their hair. Luis Polonia should have lost at least 20 lbs. before showing up. Paniagua should have been taken to a make up artist. He did not scare the USA babies with his Frankenstein face. Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols WHERE ARE YOU when we needed you? Hey people, we do have some handsome players to show. Hippo just wanted to show we are ready to merge with Haiti. The only teams uglier than us were the Jamaicans, Barbados, the British and US Antilles, Guyana and Grenada. At least they have beautiful flags to show.

Hippo people did not know the globe in the center of the Brazilian flag was as large as the romboid and insulted the Brazilian people with their ugly and ridiculous rendition of their flag at the opening. Announcers made many mistakes, including announcing Peru for another country. The whole parade stopped for 3 minutes.

TW
 

rendul

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Feb 24, 2002
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CBC Coverage of Games

I just emailed CBC about their lack of coverage in Toronto. They have 19 cameras down there and all we are getting is a half hour programme starting at 11:30 at night!! I am so ticked. They said they were going to cover the huge concert here in T.O. and all we got were snippets of the concert!! Last night's coverage was the gymnastics team and their silver. I know there is alot more going on than that!!!
 

Jane J.

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Jan 3, 2002
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Hey, rendul, I watched last night and I really enjoyed their coverage (although didn't you find the sound kind of shaky?) CBC is plagued by financial problems; they were meant to have given many of the events live coverage, but had to cut back.

Even though I did think they were a bit remiss in that they only covered Canadian participation, they did show some of the merengue festival, the streets, beaches and people. I thought that was really great!
 

Robert

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Jan 2, 1999
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The lack of coverage might have something to do with the Government not coming up with the required funds?
I suggest you point the finger in the other direction.

From our Daily News:

Live Pan Am coverage reduced
Toronto's Globe & Mail published today a Pan Am Games update by William Houston, which indicates that financial problems have forced the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to cut back on its coverage of the Games. CBC has the rights to the footage of the Games and will distribute it to other media around the world. The newspaper says that the Organizing Committee did not make the payments as set out in the contract. CBC chose to reduce its coverage, meaning that live transmission of certain sports events. Track, cycling, gymnastics events and the softball finals will be affected. "We could have walked away, because they were in breach of contract," said Alan Clark, the executive producer. "They had paid us about 80% of what we were owed, but, after three and a half years there, and because of the Games and the people, we said we would give them a program plan based on a reduced budget."
 
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