The first Junior Pan American Games in history will be held in Colombia’s “Capital of Sport”, Cali, following a vote by the Panam Sports Executive Committee.
Cali, Colombia was elected over fellow Candidate Cities Santa Ana, El Salvador and Monterrey, Mexico. Thirteen Members of the Panam Sports Executive Committee participated in the vote.
The election was held after a week-long Evaluation Commission visit to Cali and Santa Ana in late February, as well as presentations by all three Candidate Cities during the Panam Sports Executive Committee meeting currently underway in San Jose, Costa Rica.
After evaluating the proposals and presentations from each of these great cities, the historical vote was held. After the vote, the delegations from each city were brought into the room for the reveal of the chosen Host City by Panam Sports President, Neven Ilic.
"And the Host City of the first Junior Pan American Games in 2021 is... Cali, Colombia! Congratulations,” President Ilic announced with pride.
Cali was chosen as the Host City of these historic new Games for a variety of reasons, but the vast sports infrastructure and the active lifestyle of the people of Cali really stood out to the Evaluation Commission and Executive Committee.
"Cali is a city that gives us all the guarantees and a sense of calm. It has the experience, it has the passion. Colombia is a leader in the development of sports in our region, so I am very happy. I also want to thank the other Candidate Cities for the great work they did. I know that this is very sad for them, but that is sport and they must continue working so that in the future they could be able to host a Games,” said the President of Panam Sports, Neven Ilic.
And these Junior Pan American Games will also mark an important milestone in Colombia and Cali’s rich sporting history. The Junior Games in 2021 will be held in the year commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Cali 1971 Pan American Games.
The sixth edition of the continent’s top multisport event started a new era of sport in Cali, setting the city on the path towards becoming Colombia’s Capital of Sport. Many of the venues built for the Cali 1971 Pan Am Games will be reused for the Junior Pan Am Games in 2021, demonstrating the great legacy that the Pan Am Games can leave for a city and a nation.
"We are very happy, but at the same time we will be sure to strictly comply with the requirements of Panam Sports to deliver excellent Games. For us, the time is too short, but we have the peace of mind that we have the most important thing needed for the Games, and that is the infrastructure. What we have to do now is prepare the home of these Games and motivate all of the athletes,” said the President of the Colombian Olympic Committee, Baltazar Medina.