2007 Pan American Games Explained

The 2007 Pan American Games, officially known as the XV Pan American Games, is a major international multi-sport event which was celebrated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from July 13 (with football starting on July 12) to July 29, 2007[1] and followed by the 2007 Parapan American Games from August 12 to August 19.[2] It is the largest sporting event to be staged in Rio de Janeiro, eclipsing the 1950 FIFA World Cup in terms of the number of teams competing, athletes competing, and events being held; an estimated 5,634 athletes from 42 countries[3] participated in 38 sports.[4] The venue for the opening and closing ceremonies was the Maracanã Stadium[5] which was also used during 1950 FIFA World Cup final match.[6]

The Pan American Games were awarded to Rio de Janeiro after an exhaustive ballot of the Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO) on August 24, 2002. The official mascot for the games was Cauê, a little sun.[7] The name was chosen through popular voting; the other options were Luca and Kuará.[7] The Pan American slogan, "Share the energy!", calls upon the continent to unite in the Pan American spirit. A total of 14 venues will be used to host the events including 4 newly constructed venues.[8] The event was considered the best in history by the president of the Pan American Sports Organisation, Mario Vazquez Raña, during his speech at the closing ceremony.[9]

Medal count

See main article: 2007 Pan American Games medal table.

In the table below are top ten nations in the medal counts.

(IOC country code in parentheses, host country is highlighted, greatest number of medals in each category is in bold)

3 [10] 524065157

Bidding process

PASO voted the host city for the 15th Pan American Games on Saturday 24 August 2002. The two candidates, the U.S. city of San Antonio (which beat Raleigh to become the U.S. candidate) and Rio de Janeiro each had one hour to make their case for hosting the games. Then the 51 members of PASO present voted 30-21 by secret ballot to award the 15th Pan American Games to Rio de Janeiro.

colspan=4Bidding results
RankCityNOC NameVotes
1Rio de Janeiro30
2San Antonio21

Fulfilled the requirements of the PASO for the accomplishment of the games, Rio de Janeiro was elect host city of the Fifteenth Pan American Games with 30 of the 51 possible votes. One of the facts that helped in the choice of Rio was the project of that all the competitions are being carried through in a radius of 25 km, spread for four polar regions in the city. [11]

Amongst the projects that had been constructed, João Havelange Olympic Stadium is the more detached, with capacity for 45,000 spectators and possibility of expansion for 60,000. Popularly known as Engenhão. In it they are being carried through the competitions of athletics and football. [12]


The organization of the Rio 2007 Games has chosen the figure of the Sun to represent the event. And, in a decision never taken before, it has defined it as the single mascot of the Pan American and Parapan American Games, reinforcing thus the principles against prejudice and that, like the sun, sport is for all.

The character reflects the characteristics of the host city and harmonizes with the graphic work developed for the logo and the visual identity of both Games. The name was chosen through popular voting by Internet, cellular phone messages and public ballot boxes placed around the main Brazilian cities, causing great commotion. Over 1.2 million people participated in the election, and the name Cauê received almost half of the votes.

Traditionally used in large sport events, the mascot figure serves the purpose of cheering the event, enforcing the ludic aspect of sports and captivating spectators and athletes. The mascot's main choice is to transmit messages of peace, respect to the environment, friendship and brotherhood, which are intrinsic values to the Olympic Movement. [13]

Opening ceremony

See main article: 2007 Pan American Games opening ceremony.

The Opening Ceremony of the XV Pan American Games took place on July 13, 2007. Approximately 90,000 people packed Rio de Janeiro's Maracanã Stadium for the occasion. The ceremony included a cast of 7,000 and a multi-million dollar budget, being produced by Scott Givens. Over 800 people were part of the creative and production teams working on the Opening Ceremony, Team Welcome Ceremonies, Sports Production, the presentation of 2,252 medals, Sports Production, the Closing Ceremony and ParaPan ceremonies.

The show began at 05:30 pm (local time, UTC-3) and lasted for two and a half hours. The theme of the show was based on the theme of the Rio 2007 Games: Viva Essa Energia (Share the Energy) and the oath of the athletes was performed by Brazilian Taekwondo athlete Natália Falavigna. [14] Also, a very abbreviated version of the Olympic Anthem was played.

Contrary to plan, the games were not opened by Brazil's head of state, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, but by the head of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, Carlos Nuzman. Prior to the official opening, Lula had been constantly booed whenever the in-stadium camera showed his image or when his name was mentioned. [15]


The competitions are being carried through in a ray of 25 km, spread for four polar regions in the city. [16]

Main construction work of the 2007 Pan American Games, the João Havelange Olympic Stadium will host the athletics and football competitions. The stadium is one of the major Games' legacies to the city of Rio de Janeiro, which can now count on a modern stadium with full capacity to be used for sports and cultural events. [17] The City of Sports Complex counts on modern constructions such as the Rio Olympic Arena, where the Games' basketball and artistic gymnastics competitions will be held; the Maria Lenk Aquatic Park, venue for the swimming, synchronized swimming and diving competitions; and the Barra Velodrome, where the cycling (track) and speed skating events will take place. [18] Riocentro Convention Center is the largest expositions and fairs center of Latin America, for the 2007 Games, the complex holds temporary facilities for staging several sport disciplines, including in the Parapan American Games. [19] The Miécimo da Silva Sports Complex is the largest sports complex that is owned by a City Government (City Hall) in Brazil. Several large sports events have taken place at this venue, such as the basketball exhibition game between the teams of American Magic Johnson and Brazilian Oscar Schmidt, in addition to several matches of the Brazilian Futsal team. [20] The Deodoro Military Club is a traditional Brazilian Army sport facility in Rio de Janeiro, will host the Rio 2007 Games equestrian, field hockey, modern pentathlon, sport shooting and archery competitions. [21]

The Maracanã Stadium was built for the 1950 FIFA World Cup, the Mario Filho Stadium (internationally known as Maracanã) is one of the most famous stadiums in the world, receiving a great number of Brazilian and foreign tourists annually. The stadium will play an outstanding role at the Games, staging the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and football matches, including the finals. The Maracanãzinho Gymnasium is the house of the Rio 2007 volleyball competitions. The Julio Delamare Water Park is the stage for the water polo tournament in the Games. The Maracanã Sports Complex also includes the Celio de Barros Athletics Stadium, and it is administered by the Rio de Janeiro State Government. [22]

Also known as Aterro do Flamengo, the Flamengo Park is the largest leisure area of the city. Besides Marina da Glória, the main venue for the Rio 2007 sailing competitions. During the Games, the marathon (men’s and women’s) arrival points will be set up at the Flamengo Park, which will also stage the race walking and cycling road competitions. [23]


See main article: Events at the 2007 Pan American Games.

332 events were contested in 38 sports, being 178 for men, 141 for women and 12 mixed or open.

The numbers following the sports refer to the number of men's, women's and mixed events in each sport.


Notes and References

  1. Web site: Programação e Resultados. Globo.com. Portuguese. 2008-08-12.
  2. Web site: Programação e Resultados. Globo.com. Portuguese. 2008-08-12.
  3. Web site: Países. Globo.com. Portuguese. 2008-08-12.
  4. Web site: Esportes. Globo.com. Portuguese. 2008-08-12.
  5. Web site: Palco gigante na abertura do Pan. Globo.com. Portuguese. 2008-08-12.
  6. Web site: 1950 FIFA World Cup Brazil. Previous FIFA World Cups. International Federation of Association Football. 2008-08-12.
  7. Web site: Mascote do Rio 2007. Globo.com. Portuguese. 2008-08-12.
  8. Web site: Venues, Calendar and Map. Ministry of Sports. 2008-08-12.
  9. News: Rio stages gala ending for Pan American Games. The International Herald Tribune. 2007-07-29. 2008-07-01.
  10. Web site: Gusmao Stripped of Pan Ams Medals. 2007-12-18. Associated Press.
  11. Web site: Venues. 2007-07-28. Rio 2007 Games official website.
  12. Web site: João Havelange Stadium. 2007-07-28. Rio 2007 Games official website.
  13. Web site: Mascot of the Games. 2007-07-29. Rio 2007 Games official website.
  14. Web site: Cerimônia de abertura para ficar na história. 2007-07-18. Gazeta Esportiva.
  15. Web site: Pan American Games open with extravaganza in Rio. 2007-07-15. International Herald Tribune.
  16. Web site: Venues. 2007-07-29. Rio 2007 Games official website.
  17. Web site: João Havelange Stadium. 2007-07-29. Rio 2007 Games official website.
  18. Web site: City of Sports Complex. 2007-07-29. Rio 2007 Games official website.
  19. Web site: Riocentro Complex (IBC/MPC). 2007-07-29. Rio 2007 Games official website.
  20. Web site: Miécimo da Silva Complex. 2007-07-29. Rio 2007 Games official website.
  21. Web site: Deodoro Military Club. 2007-07-29. Rio 2007 Games official website.
  22. Web site: Maracanã Stadium. 2007-07-29. Rio 2007 Games official website.
  23. Web site: Flamengo Park. 2007-07-29. Rio 2007 Games official website.