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Blog From 2015 Pan Am Games - Time To Start


John Moon delivered a motivational speech to the USA squad prior to the bulk of events beginning
July 21, 2015 The 17th Pan American Games began on July 10 in Toronto. Seton Hall sent three representatives to the games, including mens basketball's Angel Delgado competing for the Dominican Republic and legendary head coach John Moon coaching the United States Track & Field Team. Part of Moon's staff in Toronto is Seton Hall Senior Associate Athletic Director Kimberly Keenan-Kirkpatrick, who will be keeping a blog for SHUPirates.com throughout the games.

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Time To Start, Days 6 and 7

As the eve before the first day of track comes to a close, I am sitting on a bench waiting to go to dinner at 9:30 p.m. and looking at the CN tower illuminated in color. There is a cool breeze blowing on a crystal clear night and the athletes are ready to go. The last two days are bringing us closer to the big show!

We started Sunday, July 19 off with a 4:30 a.m. start getting our race walkers to the 7 a.m. start on a hot and sunny morning. While they were doing their warm-up routine I was able to get a five mile run in along the harbor of Lake Ontario. The women had a strong performance in miserable conditions with the sun beating down and the humidity high. Both of our athletes finished a few minutes off their best but still with very strong performances.

We spent the rest of Sunday welcoming athletes with later arrivals and getting everyone settled in. I was fortunate enough to sneak out of the village to catch up with a former college teammate who lives here in Toronto. It was great to catch up on the past 25 years!

Monday morning was our last relaxing morning before it all begins. We had a group of athletes training at the practice track. I got out for a ten mile run on a clear and cool morning! In the afternoon, the staff and most of the athletes went over to the competition track for the final walk-through and the Technical meeting. We picked up all the athlete numbers and bibs with their name on to distribute that night at the team meeting. On Monday night we had our entire team meeting where we went over logistics with the athletes and elected team captains. On the women's side, we elected Alyssa Montano, an 800-meter runner, and on the men's side we elected co-captains between Jesse Williams, a veteran high jumper, and Olympian hurdler David Oliver.

To close the meeting both of the head coaches gave a motivational speech. Coach John Moon ended his speech bring the room to a roar with a "1...2...3...U.S.A.....U.S.A!!!!"