THE SANTIAGO 2023 PAN AMERICAN GAMES “LEFT THE NAME OF CHILE AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL”
The record-breaking 19th edition of the Pan American Games concluded with an unforgettable Closing Ceremony in the Estadio Bicentenario where athletes, volunteers and thousands of fans came together to send off the Games in style.
Panam Sports President Neven Ilic thanked Chile and its people for making Santiago 2023 the most successful Pan American Games in history.
SANTIAGO, CHILE (November 7, 2023) — The incredible athletes and sports fans of the Americas said a bittersweet farewell to the most important sporting event ever held in the history of Chile with the Closing Ceremony of the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.
The exciting celebration held at the Estadio Bicentenario in the Chilean capital brought to a close one of the greatest events in the history of continental sport. The party began with a standing ovation for the nearly 7,000 athletes who competed at Santiago 2023 that lasted more than a minute with raucous applause from the more than 7,000 fans who packed the stadium.
The flag bearers of all 41 countries of the Pan American Family then participated in the Parade of Nations while representing their countries with pride. The show began with a cultural display highlighting the diverse history of Chile, with performers carrying large cutouts depicting different iconic scenes from Chile’s natural wonders. A special tribute was then shown to the wonderful 12,000 volunteers who were the soul of the Pan American Games, showcasing some of their top moments at Santiago 2023.
With Chilean President Gabriel Boric in attendance, his Sports Minister Jaime Pizarro gave the first speech of the evening, profusely thanking the athletes of the Americas for making the Games an unforgettable experience for all.
“I want to give thanks to the athletes who made us cry with their triumphs, to those who broke records and strived to achieve their dreams. You all left the best example of sporting excellence for our country. Thank you to everyone who is part of this history and now it’s time for us to say goodbye. You all are a great example for the youth and all of the Americas,” Chilean Sports Minister Jaime Pizarro said among cheers from the crowd.
Panam Sports President Neven Ilic then officially closed the second Pan American Games during his tenure as the leader of Americas’ Olympic Movement with a moving speech that received several rounds of thunderous applause.
“It has been a tremendous honor to have organized these incredible Games in my country. These Games have left the name of Chile at the highest level and shown that we are capable of greatness. We had many great moments, but for me seeing the public fill every stadium and applauding our athletes is something I will never forget. Everyone who attended these Games are leaving with the image of how beautiful Chile is and how friendly we Chileans are,” Ilic said.
“To the athletes, you are the should of this celebration. I congratulate you for having competed, for representing your countries and your flags and for fulfilling your dreams. You have worked your entire life for this. Thank you to the athletes of the Americas, because of you we have experienced a really magnificent sports festival,” he continued.
“Lastly, I want to thank the Government of Chile. These Games have been an effort of the state. Everyone should feel very proud, because what we did was not easy. We overcame many challenges including the pandemic. But we achieved our dream of hosting these Games in Santiago and they were a tremendous success. Thank you to all Chileans for what you have done for sport in the Americas!” President Ilic exclaimed to conclude his speech.
After presenting the first medals of the Games to Gunnar Holmgren (CAN), Martin Vidaurre (CHI) and Jose Marques (BRA) after the exciting mountain bike event to start the race for medals, to start the Games, President Ilic had the honor of delivering the final gold medal of Santiago 2023 to the Official Mascot Fiu. The stadium erupted to celebrate and give thanks to their favorite mascot who always brought the energy and happiness to every competition.
Next it was time to officially deliver the Panam Sports flag to the next Host City of the Pan American Games, with Colombian Sports Minister Astrid Rodriguez receiving the flag from President Ilic while accompanied by the Mayor of Barranquilla xx xx. The Colombians then put on a show of their own with traditional music and dancing that concluded with the world-famous “En Barranquilla Me Quedo” playing as salsa dancers showcased their talent.
The fantastic night concluded with the musical performances from Joe Vasconcellos and Prince Royce who each made the stadium shake with energy as they played their top hits such as “Magico”, “Cuidado”, “El Clavo” and Prince Royce’s rendition of “Stand by Me”.
Once the headline acts finished, an amazing fireworks display set the night sky ablaze with light with the impressive Cordillera mountain range as the backdrop to the magical evening.
The success of these Pan American Games extended far beyond the field of play where an unprecedented 34 countries stood on the podium, as the Chilean people and audiences around the world witnessed the achievements of the best athletes of the Americas in record-breaking numbers.
There were more than 1.5 million tickets sold, filling every stadium with amazing fans cheering on the success of athletes from all 41 countries of Americas’ Olympic Movement. More than 2 million fans around the world watched the Games live and for free on the Panam Sports Channel, while millions more watched on television. Santiago 2023 also had a record number of accredited media members who made the world aware of the unbelievable achievements of the continent’s best athletes.
Santiago 2023 will undoubtedly mark a before and after not only in the history of Chile, but also for sport in the Americas. The world now anxiously awaits for the continent’s next great sporting celebrations that will take place in Asuncion, Paraguay with the 2025 Junior Pan American Games and in Barranquilla, Colombia with the 20th edition of the Pan American Games in 2027.