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Successful 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile

Image: Chilevision TVChannel
  The Pan American Games 2023 held in the Chilean capital were a great success in almost all aspects. The organization was in charge of the last three governments: Michele Bachelet, Sebastian Piñera and current President Gabriel Boric. 

The competitions were held not only in Santiago, but also in other cities of the country. Despite still being in a developmental stage, Chile proved to be modern and organized, with world-class facilities, and there has even been talk of a possible bid to host the 2036 Olympic Games.

And who revealed this position was none other than the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, who, after his visit to Chile, expressed that "my advice would be that once these Games are successfully finished, the country should start looking at the next goal. And among them could be the Olympic Games or other events of this nature."

Undoubtedly, the Pan American Games in Santiago will mark a before and after not only in the history of Chile, but also for sport in the Americas. The continent now awaits the next great sporting celebrations that will also take place in the city of Santiago with the Parapan American Games, then in Asuncion, Paraguay, with the Junior Pan American Games 2025 and in Barranquilla, Colombia, with the next edition of the Games in 2027.

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Some Interesting Facts

* Hosting: Santiago finally got its long-awaited chance to stage the Pan American Games after several failed bids. Twice before, Santiago had been awarded hosting rights (1975 and 1987) but withdrew both times due to financial and political issues. Santiago also lost out to Lima in voting for the 2019 Games.

* The opening ceremony was held at the National Stadium, which was renovated for the occasion. The ceremony featured a tribute to Chilean culture and history, as well as a dazzling display of fireworks and music. The highlight was the lighting of the cauldron by Chilean tennis legend Fernando González, who won three Olympic medals in his career.

* The Santiago 2023 Games had the particularity of being the first sporting event of this magnitude to achieve carbon neutrality in Chile.

* During the Panamerican Games Santiago 2023, the public transportation system played a key role in the event's success: 

The Ministry of Transport took several measures to ensure efficient transportation for both locals and the more than 100,000 tourists expected to attend the games. The plan included special bus services to reinforce the arrival and departure of massive events within the city, such as the new electric double-decker buses.

The buses ran on exclusive routes, including the Bus Only Lanes, which benefited both public transportation and the games' vehicles.

Additionally, the EFE Trains of Chile and the Santiago 2023 Corporation signed a collaboration agreement to support the games' promotion and dissemination

The extended Metro system, exclusive routes, and electric double-decker buses were some of the measures taken to improve accessibility and mobility during the games.

*  Nearly 7,000 athletes from 41 countries competed in 38 sports during almost three weeks at the Pan American Games in Santiago.

"Fiu", the Games mascot 
  * The Santiago 2023 mascot is called "Fiu" and is inspired by the
many-colored Rush Tyrant, a bird that is resident in wetlands over much of Chile and Argentina.

* The torch for the 2023 Pan American Games was inspired by the Chilean colors and toured the country until the cauldron was lit at the National Stadium on October 20.

* Urban Legacy: Organizers of the Pan American and Parapan American Games in Santiago highlighted the "urban" legacy they expect the two events to leave in the Chilean city. The construction of the Athletes' Village in Cerrillos has been highlighted as key to the urban legacy of the Games. The 17-tower complex will house some 9,000 athletes during the competition. After the Games, the Village will provide 1,355 new housing units for low-income families.

* The Cuban delegation achieved an outstanding participation occupying the fifth place, but at the end of the competitions, 11 of its members defected from the team and did not return to the Caribbean island.
*  Zhiying Zeng, also known as Tania Zeng, a 57-year-old Chilean of Chinese origin, surprised everyone with her bronze medal for Chile in the women's team category in table tennis at the 2023 Pan American Games. 

Zeng was a professional table tennis player in China and resumed the sport during the pandemic. She won silver medals in singles, doubles, and women's teams at the 2023 South American Championship held in Lima, which earned her a spot on the Chilean table tennis team for Santiago 2023. Zhiying Zeng expressed her love for Chile, where she has lived for more than half of her life, and considers it her home. She won her first match against the Dominican Republic's Eva Brito Peña, securing her place in the quarterfinals. Zhiying Zeng was the oldest competitor at the Pan American Games Santiago 2023, and her story captivated the public.

* Rebeca Andrade was another outstanding athlete. The Olympic and World Champion Brazilian gymnast, added four Pan American medals (two gold, two silver) to her collection in front of a full venue with all eyes on her, achievements that are a testament to his incredible talent and dedication to the sport.

* Debut of new sports: This year, skateboarding, breaking, and sport climbing made their debut at the games. Sport climbing and skateboarding debuted at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and will return in Paris in 2024, but their arrival at the Pan American Games gave a raft of new athletes the chance to compete at the highest level.

* In Santiago 2023 Mexico won 142 medals, its highest ever, and broke its own record for gold medals won.

* The US Sailing Team won the most medals, making the US the winningest country in Pan American Games sailing history with 88 medals since 1951.

* Closing ceremony: As the Games flame was extinguished and fireworks boomed, Santiago handed the baton to Barranquilla, Colombia, who will host the next Pan Ams in 2027. Finding ways to breathe relevance and interest into an increasingly marginalized competition remains an ongoing challenge with fewer cities interested in bidding for the Games and top athletes giving them a pass.

Medal Standings

Here are the final medal standings for the top 12 countries:
1  United States - 286 medals (124 gold, 75 silver, 87 bronze)
2  Brazil - 205 medals (66 gold, 73 silver, 66 bronze)
3  Mexico - 142 medals (52 gold, 38 silver, 52 bronze)
4  Canada - 164 medals (46 gold, 55 silver, 63 bronze)
5  Cuba - 69 medals (30 gold, 22 silver, 17 bronze)
6  Colombia - 101 medals (29 gold, 38 silver, 34 bronze)
7  Argentina - 75 medals (17 gold, 25 silver, 33 bronze)
8  Chile - 79 medals (12 gold, 31 silver, 36 bronze)
9  Peru - 32 medals (10 gold, 6 silver, 16 bronze)
10 Venezuela - 44 medals (8 gold, 15 silver, 21 bronze) 
11 Dominican Republic - 32 medals (8 gold, 7 silver, 17 bronze)
12 Ecuador - 36 medals (7 gold, 12 silver, 17 bronze)

The United States dominated the medal count, followed by Brazil and Mexico. Canada, Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador also had impressive performances.

In conclusion, the Pan American Games 2023 in Chile were a great success, showcasing the country's modernity and organization. The event was held not only Santiago but in several cities and there were many interesting facts and anecdotes that caught the attention of the participants and the public. The United States Team won the most medals, followed by Brazil.