September 28, 2023 #Tourism & Sports

Chile invests more than US$650 million in infrastructure for Santiago 2023

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Less than a month before the start of the Pan American event, sports authorities have highlighted the impact it will have on the country's image throughout the world. 

In a meeting organized by Fundación Imagen de Chile, Sports Minister Jaime Pizarro, Sports Undersecretary Antonia Illanes, and the executive director of Santiago 2023, Harold Mayne-Nicholls, delivered an assessment of what has been achieved to date and their projections for the coming Santiago 2023 Pan American and Parapan American Games. 

Minister Pizarro referred to the investment made and the impact that the games will have for the country at various levels: "The President of Chile, Gabriel Boric, has entrusted us with ensuring that these games take place impeccably, in all areas, and that is what we are working on. Close to US$650 million has been invested, which has been allocated to building and improving infrastructure, as well as the work carried out by the Santiago 2023 corporation in terms of materials, equipment, delegation transfers and other things," the minister commented. He added, "it is good to see that other contributions have been received, particularly from private parties that are motivated to be part of this." 

In reference to preparations prior to the opening ceremony, the minister called attention to the transfer of the Pan American torch from Mexico. After arriving in Chile, three flames will travel throughout the country's northern, southern and island territories, before coming together to light the cauldron at the opening ceremony. For Minister Pizarro, this milestone "will show that Chile is ready to hold more important international events in the future". 

The legacy for Chile

At the meeting, Sports Undersecretary Antonia Illanes emphasized that, to date, works have already been competed both on new sporting venues and those that required remodeling. She also highlighted the inter-ministerial work that has been carried out alongside 17 other ministries. This has resulted in several initiatives, such as making improvements to public transport, providing security during the event, building Villa Santiago 2023, repairing roads, enacting laws and adopting student agreements. 

"These are state-held games that are an expression of democracy. That is why this government has given them presidential priority, which has allowed us to work with all the speed required of an event of this magnitude," she emphasized. 

In terms of the games' impact for Chile, Mayne-Nicholls indicated that they are expecting more than 9,000 athletes and para-athletes to compete. This is in addition to the arrival of about 100,000 tourists: "The goal is therefore to project an excellent image of our country". 

He also pointed out that, according to a citizen perception study, 45% of those surveyed consider that "inclusion" will be the main legacy of these games. Regarding interest in attending the event, the executive director indicated that "67% of those surveyed expressed a definite intention to attend, motivated by the desire to support our athletes and maintain an excellent image of the country". 

In relation to the impact that the games will have on the country's image, the executive director of Imagen de Chile, Rossana Dresdner, stressed the huge importance of this sporting mega event, not only in terms of image projection, but also because it is consistent with the key areas through which Chile seeks to position itself throughout the world. "These games are based on the pillars that reflect who we are as a country and what we want to show the world: sustainability, which in this event is expressed though important elements such as carbon neutrality; and diversity, through universal inclusion and the free participation of children and older adults. These games show that sport is a place to share, participate and build together," she added.

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