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The Pan American Games are a multi-sport event, held every four years in the year before the summer Olympic Games and between competitors from all nations in the Americas. The last edition was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2007. The next will be in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2011, followed by the 2015 games in Toronto, Canada.


History

The idea of holding a Pan American Games grew from the Central American Games which were first organized in the 1920s. In 1932, a first proposal was made for Pan American Games, and the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) was established. The first Games were scheduled to be staged in Buenos Airesmarker in 1943, but World War II caused them to be postponed until 1951. Since then, the Games have been held every four years, with participation at the most recent event at over 5,000 athletes from 42 countries.

Map of countries that participate in the Pan American Games


However, for certain sports on the program, such as swimming, the Pan American Games have lost status in the United States, and have not received much attention in the sporting press. The Americans had sent their "B" swimming team to Winnipeg in 1999, in contrast to the 1967 edition where they fielded many rising stars such as Mark Spitz. No major USA television network has covered the last 3 editions of the Games, while newspapers sent second-string reporters and the stories never made front page news. Many high profile athletes, of all nationalities, such as US champion sprinters and Brazilian football players, were in Europe during these Pan Ams, taking part in professional events. South American nations (with the exception of Uruguay) did not send their under-23 male soccer teams after the organizing committee refused to pay appearance money to CONMEBOL. In Canada, there was plenty of coverage, including a nightly two-hour program on CBC, with an additional hour on local affiliate CBWTmarker, French-language coverage on Radio-Canada, plus daytime coverage on TSN. By 2003, the Pan American Games were once again neglected by the media. Generally, the Pan American Games receive plenty of attention in most Latin American countries. The 2007 edition, held in Rio de Janeiromarker, Brazilmarker, has prompted the Organizing Committee to restore important venues such as the Estádio do Maracanãmarker and build a new Olympic Village.

Winter Games

There have been attempts to hold Pan American Winter Games as well, but these have been without much success. An initial attempt to hold winter events was made by the organizers of the 1951 Pan American Games in Buenos Aires, who planned to stage winter events later in the year but dropped the idea for lack of interest.

Lake Placid, New Yorkmarker, tried to organize Winter Games in 1959, but again not enough countries expressed interest and the plans were canceled.

In 1988, members of PASO voted to hold the first Pan American Winter Games at Las Leñasmarker, Argentinamarker in September 1989. It was further agreed that Winter Games would be held every four years. Lack of snow forced postponement of the games until September 16-22, 1990, when eight countries sent 97 athletes to Las Lenas. Of that total, 76 were from just three countries: Argentina, Canada, and the United States. Weather was unseasonably warm and again there was little snow, so only three Alpine Skiing events—the Slalom, Giant Slalom, and Super G—were staged. The U.S. and Canada combined to win all 18 medals.

PASO awarded the second Pan American Winter Games to Santiago, Chilemarker for 1993. The United States warned that it would not take part unless a full schedule of events was held. The Santiago organizing committee eventually gave up and the idea has not been revived since.

Editions

Year Games Host City Country Date Athletes Nations Sports Most Gold Medals
1951 I Buenos Airesmarker February 25 - March 9 1951 2,513 21 18
1955 II Mexico Citymarker March 12 - March 26 1955 2,583 22 17
1959 III Chicagomarker August 27 - September 7 1959 2,263 25 18
1963 IV São Paulomarker April 20 - May 5 1963 1,665 22 19
1967 V Winnipegmarker July 24 - August 6 1967 2,361 29 18
1971 VI Calimarker July 25 - August 8 1971 2,935 32 18
1975 VII Mexico Citymarker October 12 - October 25 1975 3,146 33 18
1979 VIII San Juanmarker July 1 - July 15 1979 3,700 34 22
1983 IX Caracasmarker August 14 - August 29 1983 3,426 36 23
1987 X Indianapolismarker August 7 - August 23 1987 4,453 38 27
1991 XI Havanamarker August 8 - August 18 1991 4,519 39 26
1995 XII Mar del Platamarker March 11 - March 26 1995 5,144 42 34
1999 XIII Winnipegmarker July 23 - August 8 1999 5,083 42 34
2003 XIV Santo Domingomarker August 1 - August 17 2003 5,223 42 35
2007 XV Rio de Janeiromarker July 13 - July 29 2007 5,633 42 34
2011 XVI Guadalajaramarker October 13 - October 30 2011
2015 XVII Torontomarker July 10 - July 26, 2015


Medals table

The table below gives an overview of the all-time medal count of the Pan American Games.

1 1747 1295 873 3915
2 781 531 481 1793
3 348 547 682 1577
4 258 279 363 900
5 239 283 401 923
6 157 217 409 783
7 73 156 224 453
8 57 109 162 328
9 37 70 108 215
10 21 72 113 206
11 21 33 59 113
12 19 43 85 147
13 14 13 36 63
14 11 22 42 75
15 8 17 25 50
16 7 12 29 48
17 6 11 9 26
18 5 28 58 91
19 4 9 16 29
20 4 6 10 20
21 4 2 5 11
22 3 20 24 47
23 2 4 11 17
24 1 6 12 19
25 1 4 3 8
26 1 0 3 4
27 0 4 5 9
28= 0 3 7 10
28= 0 3 7 10
30 0 3 0 3
31 0 2 5 7
32 0 1 6 7
33 0 1 4 5
34= 0 1 2 3
34= 0 1 2 3
36 0 1 1 2
37= 0 0 2 2
37= 0 0 2 2
39= 0 0 1 1
39= 0 0 1 1
41= 0 0 0 0
41= 0 0 0 0
Total 3496 3477 3875 10848


Participating Nations









Sports



Panamerican Torch

Since the first Panamerican Games, a torch is lit in the same way as the Olympic Games (since 1924), Asian Games (since 1958) and All Africa Games (since 1965). In the first games in Buenos Aires 1951, the torch came from Olympia, Greece. Since the Mexico 1955 games, the torch is lit by Aztec people in old temples, first in the Sierra de la Estrella and after in the Temple of the Sun God in the Teotihuacán Pyramids. The only exception was São Paulo in 1963 when the torch was lit in Brasilia by the indigenous Guarani people.

See also



References



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