— Published 7 November 2023

A future in question

The curtain came down on the Pan American Games 2023 in Santiago, Chile (October 20 to November 5). The multi-sport event brought together nearly 7,000 athletes from 41 countries. To no one’s surprise, the United States came out on top in the medal count (286 medals, 124 of them gold). Brazil came very close to the top (205 medals). Mexico was a distant second (142). When it came time to take stock, the host country congratulated itself on having reached the finish line without really stumbling. But observers were quick to point out the many errors made by the Chilean organization. At the top of the list were competition sites that sometimes gave the impression of not being quite finished, grandstands that were often empty, and a few glitches in the running of the events, the most spectacular of which was a women’s 20 km walk that was several kilometers too short. What does the future hold for the Pan-American Games? In the short term, the fear of emptiness has been allayed, as the next edition has already been awarded to Barranquilla, Colombia. It will take place in 2027. But no country has expressed the slightest interest in hosting the next one, scheduled for 2031. As a reminder, Santiago de Chile was awarded the Games in 2023 without the slightest competition, Buenos Aires’ bid having been withdrawn before the final decision.