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The Pan American Games

Who, What, Where, and When

By

Juan Uran

Juan Uran at the 2007 Pam Am Games

Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Pan American Games are one of several multi-national, multi-sport events that occur on rotating basis. Similar to the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Games and the Olympic Games, the Pan American Games take place every four years, in the year preceding the Olympics.

The Pan Am Games as they are more casually referred to, include athletes drawn from countries and sports federations on the American continent and associated islands and territories. The event the third largest international multi-sport competition behind the Olympics and Asian Games.

Last held in Rio de Janeiro (the future site of the 2016 Olympic Games) in 2007, the games included over 5,500 athletes competing in 34 sports.

The Pan Am Games first took place in 1951 in Buenos Aires, Argentina and diving was among the 20 sports representing 22 countries that was contested at the inaugural competition.

Currently the Pan Am Games are sanctioned and overseen by the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO), an organization made up of 42 nations from the American continent and the Caribbean. PASO represents the National Olympic Committees of these 42 nations to the International Olympic Committee and the Association of National Olympic Committees.

Pan American Games by Year and Site

  • 1951 – Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 1955 – Mexico City, Mexico
  • 1959 – Chicago, Unitied States
  • 1963 – São Paulo, Brazil
  • 1967 – Winnipeg, Canada
  • 1971 – Cali, Colombia
  • 1975 – Mexico City, Mexico
  • 1979 – San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • 1983 – Caracas, Venezuela
  • 1987 – Indianapolis, United States
  • 1991 – Havana, Cuba
  • 1995 – Mar del Plata, Argentina
  • 1999 – Winnepeg, Canada
  • 2003 – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • 2007 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 2011 – Guadalajara, Mexico
  • 2015 – Toronto, Canada

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