Mason to Host Pan American Games Athletes

Posted: June 27, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Dave Andrews

The United States Olympic Committee recently announced that Mason will be the processing site for American athletes competing in the 2007 U.S. Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

More than 600 athletes and 220 staff and officials will be passing through Mason’s Fairfax Campus from July 5 to 21 for team briefings, apparel distribution, medical screenings and training before departing for Brazil. They will stay overnight in Mason’s residence halls. The Pan Am Games will run from July 13 to 29.

The Pan Am Games have been held every four years since 1951. The games are an Olympic-style competition for athletes of the American continents. This year, the competition will feature 5,500 athletes from 42 countries competing in 33 different sports.

“We are very pleased that many of America’s finest athletes will be here at Mason to complete their registration and training for the Pan Am Games,” says Christine LaPaille, vice president of university relations. “The fact that our campus was selected as the final gathering point says much about our institution’s reputation as being one of high quality and having outstanding facilities.”

During the athletes’ first morning at Mason they will eat breakfast and have a team briefing. Then the athletes will receive their parade, podium and leisure apparel and pose for team and individual photos. The entire process will take approximately four hours.

Following the team briefing and processing, athletes will have opportunities to relax or go through team workouts. Most teams will be at Mason for only one day before checking out of their rooms and departing for Brazil.

Some of the teams will stay at Mason longer than others to continue training. The volleyball, water polo and swim teams will stay an extra one or two days. Also, the Greco and women’s freestyle wrestlers will use additional days to train.

Additional information can be found on the Pan Am Games web site.

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