July 9th, 2015
In just a few days, the Pan American Games 2015 will be held. The candidacy of Toronto was proposed in 2009, competing with and defeating cities such as Lima and Bogota. The question of many people not familiar with Olympic sports in general is, what are the Pan American Games? These games are the most important Olympic competition in America, where all the countries of this continent compete in many disciplines.
The Pan Ams, are held every 4 years, one year before the Summer Olympics. The previous Pan American Games were held in 2011 in the city of Guadalajara in Mexico.
Although they do not have the same importance as the Olympics, the American nations take the competition very seriously because it is a good opportunity to test their athletes a year before the Olympic event.
Many renowned athletes do not participate due to commitments in their schedule, depending on their respective sports. Many focus on competing in the World Cup to achieve the access to the Olympics. Without a doubt, the Pan American Games are a significant day for young athletes who want to earn a place in the main team of their country.
In the Pan American Games, we can see Olympic disciplines such as: weightlifting, wrestling, taekwondo, horse riding, judo, gymnastics, synchronized swimming, dives, sailing, boxing, handball, modern pentathlon and kayak. Also, other non-traditional disciplines as: karate, squash, softball, baseball, rugby 7, racquetball, skating and water skiing. And of course, famous disciplines as: football, basketball, golf, fencing, swimming, athletics, field hockey, cycling, badminton, skating, rowing, tennis, table tennis, shooting, archery, triathlon, volleyball, beach volley and water polo.
Some of the important names that will be in the city are:
Ryan Cochrane, Canadian swimmer 1500m freestyle, Olympic medalist.
Caterine Ibarguen, Colombian athlete, silver medal winner in London 2012, triple jump.
Mariana Pajon, Colombian, won the gold medal in BMX in London 2012.
Rubén Limardo, Venezuelan fencer, Olympic champion in London 2012 and rated second best in the world.
Natalie Coughlin, American swimmer, has won 12 Olympic medals.
Greivis Vasquez, Venezuelan basketball player, NBA player.
More than 6 thousand athletes will participate in TO2015, 11 sports will assign places for the Olympic Games of Rio 2016. Toronto has had a budget close to 400 million Canadian dollars. The mascot of these games is a porcupine called Pachi and has 41 quills, one for each delegation.
The most winning country in the Pan American Games is the United States with 4173 medals, more than double than the following delegation, Cuba, with 1932 medals. For the first time, all the sports of the Olympic program will be contested, as well as some non-Olympic sports such as baseball, karate, racquetball, among others.