Colombian President Ivan Duque says it will be an "honor" to host next year’s inaugural Junior Pan American Games as the one-year countdown begins to Cali 2021.
A fireworks show from the 180-meter high Cali Tower – the tallest building in the city – started the countdown on Wednesday to what Duque described as "one of the most important sporting events in the world for the youth".
A banner measuring 50m high and 12m long was also placed at the top of the Cali Tower to help build excitement towards the Games which is scheduled to take place from September 9 to 19 2021.
The event was attended by Jose Luis Echeverry, executive director of Cali 2021, and representatives of the Valle del Cauca Government from a room in the Cali Tower Hotel, while Duque and Ernesto Lucena, the country’s Sports Minister, joined virtually from Bogota.
"A year from today, we will be welcoming the Junior Pan American Games in our country, one of the most important sports events in the world for the youth," Duque said.
"It is an honor for Colombia to receive the Junior Pan American Games in the region of Valle del Cauca, with Cali as its main host city, but also having over six municipalities as sub-sites for the Games.
"The eyes of the international community will continue to see our country as a promising land, and above all, as a place where the sport is part of the development agenda."