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The Toronto Star reports that Lima, Peru, will host the 2019 Pan American Games, winning with an emotional bid presentation featuring a teenaged taekwondo athlete.
Renza Cardenas was just 10 when Lima lost to Toronto four years ago to host the 2015 Pan Am Games. He was part of Lima’s bid video back then, talking on camera about what the Games would mean to his country. Four years later, he was part of Lima’s slick presentation once again, taking the podium in a Peru national track suit, a gold medal around his neck — won two weeks ago at the Pan American taekwondo championships.
“Today I’m 14; in 2019, I’ll be 20,” he told delegates at the 51st Pan American Sport Organization general assembly. “At that time, I would be a Pan American champion. I firmly believe in my dream. So today millions of young Peruvians share the same dream and we want your support.
“Believe in us. We won’t let you down.”
The Peruvian capital won with 31 votes, easily beating out what was considered its stiffest competition in Santiago, Chile. Santiago and La Punta, Argentina, received nine votes each. Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, received eight.