Monday, December 21, 2020

Pan American Games - First Day Cover

The Pan American Games is a sporting event held with athletes from North America, South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. It is held every four years. The Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) chooses the host city for the games and also determines which sports will be contested. PASO is an affiliate of the International Olympic Committee. There are 36 sports with 400 events and over 6000 athletes compete from 41 different countries.

The first Pan American Games were held in 1951 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was supposed to be held in 1942 but was postponed because of World War II.

The US has been the top performer at all of the games except in 1952. Canada has participated in every game except the first.

The games feature some unique sports not seen in the Olympic games such as jai alai, bowling, and water skiing. Sometimes a sport is featured here as a possibility for it showing up in the Olympics. Equestrian sports first appeared in 1951 at the games.

Sometimes the Pan American Games are a springboard for athletes wanting to go to the Olympics.

The next Pan American Games will be held in Santiago, Chili in 2023.

Original photo of First Day Cover from husband’s collection by Pat Hensley

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