The Pan American Games are considered to be one of the biggest sporting competitions in the entire world and they are reserved only for the countries of the America. These, Pan American Games include only summer sports. However, there were one Winter Pan American Games.
The governing body that is charge of the organization of Pan America Games is called The Pan American Sports Organization or PASO. The operation of this organization are described by the Olympic Charter according which the rules for these games are being determined. The Pan American Games, similarly to the Olympic Games, include the Parapan American Games for the athletes with some physical disabilities and they are being held in the same year as the Pan American Games only couple of weeks later.
The Idea of Pan American Games
During the Olympic Games back in 1932 that were being held in Los Angeles, one group of the Latin America representatives in the International Olympic Committee came up with the idea that the countries from Americas should organize similar games in which athletes from those countries will participate.
Soon after that it was official that the first Pan American Games will be organized. Five years after the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, in 1937, Dallas hosted the first Pan American Games. However, at that time Pan American were not popular and they did not managed to grab enough attention of the people for those Games to be considered seriously in terms of the competitions.
After the failure in Dallas, Pan American Games’ officials decided to give it another attempt. In 1940, first Pan American Sports Congress was organized in Buenos Aires. One of the conclusion that came as a result of that congress was the determination to organize the first official Pan American Games in Buenos Aires and that those games will be held in 1942.
World War II Hindrances and Restoration
However, the first official Pan American Games had to be cancelled because of the World War II that was occupying everybody’s attention and because of that officials recognized that there is no point in organizing Games when something like that is happening in the world.
After the end of the World War II, in 1948, the second Pan American Congress was organized and this time it was in held in London. The conclusions from the second Pan American Congress only reinforce the idea that the first official Pan American Games should be held in Buenos Aires. That finally came to be in 1951 when athletes from all over Americas gathered in Buenos Aires to compete in 18 different sports.
The first Pan American Games saw several countries from the Americas that have been a part of the Commonwealth of Nations not participating in those Games. Four years after the first Pan American Games, Mexico City hosted the second Pan American Games. These Games saw an increase in the number of countries that participated in sporting events and consequently the number of athletes that participated in the second Pan American Games also increased. However, the number of sports in which competitions was going to be held was reduced to 17. During the next 12 years, the Pan American Games were held every four years in cities such as Chicago, United States in 1959, Sao Paulo, Brazil back in 1963 and Winnipeg in Canada back in 1967.
Rapid Development of Pan American games
Throughout the history, Pan American Games developed rapidly. The development went in two different directions. First direction in which Pan American Games were developing after the 1967 games in Winnipeg, Canada was in regards to the quality of facilities required to host such huge event, sports stadiums and arena as well as the in regards of the provisions required to host several thousands of people.