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Triangle Hosts the USOC in Hopes of Hosting 2007 Pan Am Games

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RALEIGH — People living in the Triangle know all of the great things the area has to offer. This week, the people trying to lure the 2007 Pan American Games are selling our hometown hard asU.S. Olympic Committeemembers pay the Triangle a visit.

USOC members plan to visit two dozen college sports venues while they are here.

Raleigh's entertainment and sports arena is one of the athletic venues that will take center stage during the USOC visit. If North Carolina lands the games, the arena would host gymnastics, volleyball and other Pan Am sports.

"We have probably the strongest athletic venues in the world, in the country, because of the university system within the Research Triangle," says George Williams, a member of North Carolina Bid Committee 2007.

Williams and other committee members have been working toward this site selection visit for two years. They visited Winnipeg, Canada in July to observe the 1999 Pan Am Games.

The bid committee will also play off of the success of the1999 Special Olympics World Summer Gamesheld in the Triangle this summer.

Local leaders point to the success of the World Games as proof that the Triangle is capable of hosting a world-class sporting event.

"And to think that for two weeks in the summer of 2007 that our area will be the center of the sporting universe and will be exposed to an international audience will be very exciting," says Raleigh Mayor Tom Fetzer, a bid committee member.

The Research Triangle area is competing withSan Antonioto become the U.S. candidate city. Miami was also competing, but dropped out of the race several weeks ago.

The USOC will make its decision on October 23.

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Stephanie Hawco, Reporter
Greg Clark, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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