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The Triangle Places a Bid for 2007 Pan American Games

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DURHAM — The Triangle is making a bid to host the 2007 Pan American Games, but it will take plenty of help from the citizens to make a serious run for the games.

Several of the Triangle's community leaders pledged their support for the project in Durham on Tuesday.

It is the biggest sporting event next to the Olympics, and the North Carolina Pan Am Games Bid Committee has cleared a big hurdle.

The committee met its latest $500,000 fund raising goal. That accomplishment, along with the area's history, is impressing some important people.

"Obviously this area has a lot going for it," U.S. Olympic Committee member Dick Schultz said. "They hosted the Olympic Festival several years ago, and it was one of the most successful we've had. People don't forget about that."

Miami and San Antonio are competing against the Triangle for the 2007 Pan Am games. Organizers say the 600 page bid document does not completely show the benefits of the Triangle.

"I bet a lot of people in your viewing audience don't even know all of the former Olympic athletes that have come from the [Triangle] area." Mayor Tom Fetzer said. "There are scores of them with gold medals in the Olympics and Pan American games. All of those people are pulling together in a community and regional effort to bring what will be the largest athletic event of the year 2007 to the Triangle."

Mayor Fetzer is the co-chair of the North Carolina Bid Committee. He said that he was concerned that Miami and San Antonio may have better climates in February than the Triangle. However, a lot of insiders say that North Carolina has more venues than the other cities, and that the Triangle has a very good chance.


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