The great secret of the explosion of Peruvian sports, Videna
Patricio Díaz
June 19, 2024

Lima, Peru, will have the rare privilege in 2027 of hosting the Pan American Games twice in eight years. Yes, privilege, but also the organizational responsibility with only 3 years of separation from the next continental event. The advantage is, except for the construction of a new Pan American Village, that the sports infrastructure exists and with the modernity that the athletes of America have already proven in 2029. Being the National Sports Village (Videna), which concentrates the largest number of first class infrastructure and the secret of the explosion of Peruvian sport.

This vast complex is located in the district of San Luis and is currently managed by the Special Legacy Project. La Videna is more than a set of facilities: it is the heart of Peruvian sports and the headquarters of several sports federations such as soccer, athletics, cycling, gymnastics, softball, baseball and wrestling. In addition, the venue is also the training ground for the national soccer, athletics and baseball teams. As if that were not enough, the Peruvian Olympic Committee has its main headquarters there.

Videna’s history dates back to 1969, when the area was declared a zonal park by Supreme Decree. In 1981, the area was handed over to the National Institute of Recreation, Physical Education and Sports (INRED). In 1993, the current complex (over 21 hectares) was built. The first remodeling works were carried out between 2009 and 2010, as part of Lima’s bid to host the 2015 Pan American Games. Although that bid was unsuccessful, work continued and in 2014 the Lima High Performance Center was inaugurated.

“It is difficult to express what I feel”

For Lima 2019, an athletics stadium with a capacity for 12,000 spectators, an indoor velodrome with a capacity for 2,500 people and an aquatic center that can accommodate 4,000 fans were built. At the inauguration of the last Lima games, Neven Ilic, Panam Sport’s helmsman, was categorical: “It is difficult to express what I feel. This has cost a lot. A year and a half ago it looked difficult, but we achieved the task”.

To understand it better, the Videna is made up of several sports facilities. The Soccer Sports Complex was inaugurated in 1996, with 50,000 square meters. It has three regulation fields, a futsal coliseum, rooms for athletes, a gymnasium, an auditorium, locker rooms, sauna, jacuzzi, a press room and the offices of the Peruvian Football Federation. In April, work began on the renovation of the complex, including new buildings that will house a hotel, technical facilities, and corporate offices.

The athletic stadium is one of the oldest in the complex, so it was renovated with a blue athletics track made in Germany. Remodeling that made it possible to host the 2019 Games. It has the homologation and Class 1 Certification of the International Athletics Federation (IAAF), this infrastructure allows the development of high-level national and international events. The High Performance Volleyball Center has four roofed regulation courts, efficient lighting and a synthetic floor. It includes locker rooms and technical conference rooms.

THE CAR THAT WILL SOON BEAR FRUIT

The High Performance Center (CAR) comprises two sports centers and a residence with capacity for 252 athletes. Sports Center 1, with an area of 9,500 square meters, where basketball, handball and gymnastics are practiced. Sports Center 2, with 11,500 square meters, hosts karate, badminton, shooting, fencing, table tennis, weightlifting, wrestling and judo. The Bowling Center is a facility with 24 state-of-the-art lanes, delivered to the Peruvian Bowling Federation prior to the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. The modern international Velodrome stands out as one of the most advanced on the continent. Finally, a real jewel: the Aquatic Center. First-class stage for swimming, artistic swimming, diving and para-swimming. It is certified by the International Swimming Federation (FINA).

For all these reasons, the Videna stands as a sports emblem for Peru, with facilities that meet international standards. It is in this multi-sport venue where the concept of legacy is made flesh, with facilities that have hosted a large number of international events, of the most varied sports, and with many more in the pipeline. The Videna, with the necessary adjustments to be made for 2027, is in itself a convincing argument to explain why America voted by a majority to deliver to the “City of Kings”, for the second time in eight years, the biggest sporting event of the continent.

The Videna is a true sports laboratory, where high performance is a fundamental part of the new challenges of hundreds of Peruvian athletes, all, without exception, recognize and value the great investment, but also feel the obligation to respond to the level of expectations of the people of Lima. However, it is not surprising that, in the medium and long term, Team Peru will become a power in the continent. Today, its reality contrasts with that of the past, of course, without forgetting its roots where the essence of these athletes is, young people who dream of being protagonists and reach a place of privilege at the international level.

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