Panama Welcomes National Olympic HeroPANAMA CITY, Panama, August 21, 2008 – In mismatched shoes – one red, one blue – representing the colors of his country on his feet, Panamanian long-jumper, Irving Saladino, made one historic leap at the Beijing Olympic Games last Monday. The 2007 world champion turned Olympic hero won Panama’s first-ever gold medal. Today, a welcoming ceremony was held in honor of the athlete in front of the Canal’s Administration Building.

“Saladino’s historic accomplishment is a testament to the strength of the Panamanian people. Here at the ACP, we see that determination for greatness every day – whether helping to build a new lane of traffic for the Panama Canal or piloting a ship through Gatun Lake. Saladino’s victory represents Panama’s most important asset – our people,” said ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta.

During the ceremony, President Martín Torrijos announced that Panama will name its new sports complex (Ciudad Olimpica) in Saladino’s honor. Ciudad Olimpica is currently under construction with an expected completion of 2009.

About the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)
The ACP is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the ACP is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the ACP’s Web site: