Tue | Aug 20, 2019

Invasion! - JOA taking serious approach to aim of unprecedented Pan Am medal tally

Published:Tuesday | July 23, 2019 | 12:13 AMRachid Parchment/Assistant Sports Editor
Jamaica Olympic Association president Christopher Samuda (right) posing with some of the members of Jamaica’s team to the 2019 Pan Am Games, which will be held in Lima, Peru, from July 26-August 11, 2019.
Jamaica Olympic Association president Christopher Samuda (right) posing with some of the members of Jamaica’s team to the 2019 Pan Am Games, which will be held in Lima, Peru, from July 26-August 11, 2019.

A trip to Lima, Peru, in the summer might seem like the ideal vacation to many or the opportunity to experience its exotic cuisine and shopping in the city. However, Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Christopher Samuda has warned the delegation for the Pan American Games that it will be going solely “on business”, as he described it.

Samuda made it clear ahead of Team Jamaica’s trip that the objective was to garner more medals than at previous Pan Am Games. Jamaica mined two gold, four silver and eight bronze medals at the Chicago 1959 Games for its highest-ever medal return at the event.

“We have an appointment with the future in Lima with the largest-ever multisport team, and this appointment must be kept as we seek to create history yet again,” Samuda said at the official Pan Am Games press conference at the JOA headquarters yesterday.

“We have an assignment in Lima, and we, therefore, shall report for duty on time, and we have a duty to the nation to be 100 per cent prepared, for victory comes to those who are well-scripted for battle.”

19 events this time

Jamaica participated in eight sporting disciplines in the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, Canada, and will compete in 19 this time around.

Secretary General Ryan Foster credits the JOA’s current executive body, which was restructured in 2017, for its role in this growth.

“A year or more ago, when the new board of directors took control of the JOA, we coined the term ‘business unusual,’” he said. “By business unusual, we want to be legacy creators, we want to be trendsetters. Following on the CAC Games, the Commonwealth Games, and the Youth Olympics – I don’t want to call it the Midas touch – but we have had the most successful games to date under this new umbrella of the Jamaica Olympic Association.

“We won 27 medals at the CAC Games, the most ever, 27 at the Commonwealth Games, the most ever. Hopefully, we’ll be winning more than 27 medals at the Pan American Games.”

The competition runs from July 26 to August 11.