Santiago secures 2023 Pan American Games

Santiago has been confirmed as host of the 2023 Pan American Games after its bid received unanimous backing from PanAmSports, the body formerly known as the Pan American Sports Organisation (Paso).

The Chilean capital appeared set to secure the multi-sport event after the Argentine Olympic Committee (COA) in April pulled Buenos Aires’ bid for the Games in favour of focusing on the 2027 edition of the event.

Buenos Aires and Santiago submitted bids to host the 2023 Pan American Games in January. PanAmSports had been seeking formal applications by the end of April, along with further information and a deposit.

Buenos Aires staged the inaugural edition of the Games in 1951, but the COA elected to switch its strategy to 2027 amid preparations for the city’s staging of the summer Youth Olympic Games next year and financial concerns over subsequently staging the 2023 Pan Am Games.

Chilean Olympic Committee (COCH) president Miguel Ángel Mujica said: “This is a dream come true for athletes, coaches, leaders and many Chileans who love sports. This is the second most important sporting event after the Olympic Games, and we should feel proud and start working today to be great hosts.”

PanAmSports president Neven Ilic added: “I congratulate the government of Chile, (Santiago’s) metropolitan government and the National Olympic Committee, for the great work they have done and I wish them every success in this important, arduous but beautiful challenge that lies ahead.”

Under the terms of the agreement announced on Saturday, Santiago will also host the seventh edition of the Parapan American Games in 2023. This is the first time the Parapans’ host city has been selected under the terms of a deal between the Americas Paralympic Committee (APC) and PanAmSports, which states that both organisations will work jointly on the bid process for the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.

It employs the principle of “a host city for both Games” along the lines of the “One Bid, One City” agreement signed between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in 2000 for the staging of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

IPC president Andrew Parsons said: “Santiago is a beautiful and modern city that three years ago hosted the first Para South American Games in history and will with no doubt deliver again great Games in 2023.

“The APC-PASO agreement signed in 2015 is a milestone for the development of Para sports across the continent and it would not have been possible without the amazing work done by the late Jose Luis Campo (the former APC president who died in October). I take this opportunity to remember his legacy.”

The Canadian city of Toronto staged the most recent edition of the Pan Am Games in 2015, while the Peruvian capital of Lima will host the next event in 2019.