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Pan American Games
Flag of PASO.svg
Pan American Sports Organization logo

First Event 1951 Pan American Games
Occur every every four years
Last Event 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro
Purpose Multi sport event for nations on the American continent
Website 2011 Pan American Games

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[1].



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 Aires 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 CBWT, 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 Janeiro, Brazil, has prompted the Organizing Committee to restore important venues such as the Estádio do Maracanã 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 York, 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 Leñas, Argentina 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, Chile 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.


Games Year Host
I 1951 Argentina Buenos Aires, Argentina
II 1955 Mexico Mexico City, Mexico
III 1959 United States Chicago, United States
IV 1963 Brazil São Paulo, Brazil
V 1967 Canada Winnipeg, Canada
VI 1971 Colombia Cali, Colombia
VII 1975 Mexico Mexico City, Mexico
VIII 1979 Puerto Rico San Juan, Puerto Rico
IX 1983 Venezuela Caracas, Venezuela
X 1987 United States Indianapolis, United States
XI 1991 Cuba Havana, Cuba
XII 1995 Argentina Mar del Plata, Argentina
XIII 1999 Canada Winnipeg, Canada
XIV 2003 Dominican Republic Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
XV 2007 Brazil Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
XVI 2011 Mexico Guadalajara, Mexico
XVII 2015 Canada Toronto, Canada

Medals table

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

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States 1747 1295 873 3915
2  Cuba 781 531 481 1793
3  Canada 348 547 682 1577
4  Argentina 258 279 363 900
5  Brazil 239 283 401 923
6  Mexico 157 217 409 783
7  Venezuela 73 156 224 453
8  Colombia 57 109 162 328
9  Chile 37 70 108 215
10  Puerto Rico 21 72 113 206
11  Jamaica 21 33 59 113
12  Dominican Republic 19 43 85 147
13  Ecuador 14 13 36 63
14  Uruguay 11 22 42 75
15  Trinidad and Tobago 8 17 25 50
16  Guatemala 7 12 29 48
17  Bahamas 6 11 9 26
18  Peru 5 28 58 91
19  Netherlands Antilles 4 9 16 29
20  Costa Rica 4 6 10 20
21  Suriname 4 2 5 11
22  Panama 3 20 24 47
23  Guyana 2 4 11 17
24  El Salvador 1 6 12 19
25  Bermuda 1 4 3 8
26  Antigua and Barbuda 1 0 3 4
27  United States Virgin Islands 0 4 5 9
28  Barbados 0 3 7 10
28  Nicaragua 0 3 7 10
30  Cayman Islands 0 3 0 3
31  Haiti 0 2 5 7
32  Paraguay 0 1 6 7
33  Honduras 0 1 4 5
34  Bolivia 0 1 2 3
34  Grenada 0 1 2 3
36  Dominica 0 1 1 2
37  Belize 0 0 2 2
37  Saint Lucia 0 0 2 2
39  Aruba 0 0 1 1
39  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 0 0 1 1
41  British Virgin Islands 0 0 0 0
41  Saint Kitts and Nevis 0 0 0 0
Total 3496 3477 3875 10848

Participating Nations


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


  1. ^

External links

Simple English

The Pan American Games are a multi-sport event, held every four years between competitors from all nations of the Americas.


Pan American Games were going to be started in 1932, but World War II caused the first Pan American Games to happen on 1951. From that time, the Games are held every four years.

More than 5000 athlets from more than 40 countries have attended the recent Games. USA has won most gold, silver and bronze medals in total.

Locations of Pan American Games

Pan American Games
Year Games Host City Country
1951 I Buenos Aires File:Flag of Argentina (alternative).svg Argentina
1955 II Mexico City File:Flag of Mexico (1823-1864, 1867-1968).png Mexico
1959 III Chicago File:Flag of the United United States
1963 IV São Paulo File:Flag of Brazil
1967 V Winnipeg File:Flag of Canada
1971 VI Cali File:Flag of Colombia
1975 VII Mexico City File:Flag of Mexico
1979 VIII San Juan File:Flag of Puerto Puerto Rico
1983 IX Caracas File:Flag of Venezuela
1987 X Indianapolis File:Flag of the United United States
1991 XI Havana File:Flag of Cuba
1995 XII Mar del Plata File:Flag of Argentina
1999 XIII Winnipeg File:Flag of Canada
2003 XIV Santo Domingo File:Flag of the Dominican Dominican Republic
2007 XV Rio de Janeiro File:Flag of Brazil
2011 XVI Guadalajara File:Flag of Mexico


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