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THE TOP MOMENTS OF 2023

Panam Sports looks back on 2023 and the incredible achievements of the athletes and countries of the Pan American Family.

This year was highlighted by the long-awaited return of the Pan American Games that were held in record-breaking fashion in Santiago, Chile, but the athletes of the Americas shined at several sporting events throughout 2023.

Panam Sports turns back the clock to remember some of the top highlights from this exciting year of sport as the world prepares for another year of sporting excellence to come.

JANUARY

The year began with several winter sports events dominating the calendar, but the first major victories for athletes of the Americas came at the 2023 Australian Open in tennis, where the Brazilian mixed doubles duo of Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos claimed the title. In beach volleyball, the American duo of Sara Hughes and Kelly Cheng capped off the 2022 Pro tour with a victory in the finals held in Doha.

FEBRUARY

Although the tournament started in January, Brazil claimed the gold medal at the 2023 U-20 South American Football Championships to qualify to Santiago 2023 alongside silver medalists Uruguay and bronze medalists Colombia. At the Park Skateboarding World Championships, Olympic bronze medalist Jagger Eaton of the United States claimed the continent’s first individual world championship title of 2023. At the 2023 Alpine World Ski Championships, Mikaela Shiffrin won the gold in the giant slalom event for the U.S., while Laurence St. Germain won gold in the women’s slalom and James Crawford won gold in the men’s super-g event for Canada.

At the Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships, Canada won three golds led by Michael Kingsbury with two in dual moguls and moguls and Brendan Mackay in halfpipe. The United States also claimed three golds, with Hanna Faulhaber in the halfpipe, Ashley Caldwell, Christopher Willis and Quinn Dehlinger in the team aerials event and Troy Podmilsak in the big air skiing event. A few days later, Jessie Diggins of the U.S. won the 10km freestyle event at the Nordic World Ski Championships.

MARCH

The third month of the year was highlighted by the exciting World Baseball Classic, with both Mexico (bronze) and the United States (silver) losing by just 1 run to the eventual champions from Japan. The Women’s World Boxing Championships were held in India where Brazil’s Beatriz Ferreira became the only athlete of the Americas to claim the world title. The Pan American Wrestling Championships were held in Argentina where the U.S. led the medal table with eight golds, followed by Venezuela with 4 and Ecuador with 3.

APRIL

The United States and Canada went head-to-head at the Women’s Ice Hockey World Championship, with the U.S. team claiming the gold with a 6-3 victory over Canada in the final. At the Pan American Badminton Championships, Canada dominated every single competition to win six total golds led by Brian Yang, Michelle Li in the singles events. At the Men’s World Boxing Championships, Yoenlis Hernández of Cuba secured the only gold medal for athletes of the Americas at the event.

MAY

The Diamond League began on May 5 in Doha and for the first time in history was live streamed on the Panam Sports Channel. The Pan American Wrestling Championships were held in Argentina where the U.S. dominated the competition to earn 20 gold medals, followed by Cuba with 5, Canada with 2 and Ecuador with 2. Canada claimed the only gold medal of the Americas at the World Judo Championships thanks to Christa Deguchi in the women’s 57kg event. Canada also completed the sweep of the ice hockey world titles, winning gold in the men’s tournament. At the FIFA U-20 World Cup, Uruguay pulled off the impressive victory to win the gold over Italy.

Colombia hosted the Pan American Artistic Gymnastics Championships with the United States leading the way with both the team and individual all-around titles in both the men’s and women’s competitions. Argentina, Brazil and Mexico were also able to claim a continental championship title at the event. The United States also won the women’s FIBA 3×3 World Cup held in Austria while placing second in the men’s tournament. The Americas then dominated the World Surfing Games held in El Salvador, with Alan Cleland of Mexico and Tatiana Weston-Webb of Brazil claiming the individual titles, while Peru earned the team points gold.

JUNE

The Diamond League continued with its busiest month of the year with several of the top athletics stars of the Americas shining bright throughout the season. Brazil dominated the Pan American Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships, winning a total of 8 gold medals led by Barbara Domingos, while Mexico claimed the only other gold of the event. The Pan American Track Cycling Championships featured great competition from several countries, led by Canada with 11 gold medals, followed by Mexico with 6, Colombia with 3 and Trinidad and Tobago with 2 thanks to world record holder Nicholas Paul.

The San Salvador Central American and Caribbean Games were held in El Salvador from June 23 to July 8, with several sports serving as qualifiers to the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. Mexico dominated the medal table with 145 golds, followed by Colombia with 87 and Cuba with 74. The first Caribbean Games in history were then held in Guadeloupe from June 29 to July 3 by CANOC, with Cuba leading the medal table with 21 golds, followed by Puerto Rico with 12 and Trinidad and Tobago with 5. Both multisport Games were broadcast live on the Panam Sports Channel.

JULY

The Santa Marta 2023 South American Beach Games were held in Colombia where the host nation topped the medal table with 14 golds and 36 total medals, followed by Venezuela with 14 golds and 27 total medals and Brazil in third place with 11 golds. The World Aquatics Championships took place in Japan, with the U.S. leading the countries of the Americas with 7 golds to finish in third place. Next best was Canada in 10th place with 2 golds thanks to Summer McIntosh, while Mexico had great success in the diving events with four silver medals, two of which came from Osmar Olvera.

At the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the U.S., Colombia and Jamaica all qualified for the Round of 16, with only Colombia advancing to the quarterfinals where the team fell to England. The Women’s World Cup was won by Spain. At the Fencing World Championships, Eli Dershwitz of the U.S. won the only gold for the Americas in the men’s individual sabre event. The U.S. was also the only country of the Americas to secure a gold at the Archery World Championships thanks to Alexis Ruiz and Sawyer Sullivan in the mixed team compound event.

AUGUST

The inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships were held in several countries from August 3 to 13, with the U.S. leading the overall medal table with 15 golds to finish in 5th place, followed by Canada in 14th place with 3 golds, Brazil and Colombia in 24th and 25th, respectively with 1 gold each. The Women’s Pan American Volleyball Cup was held in Puerto Rico where Argentina claimed the title over Puerto Rico, with both teams earning qualification to Santiago 2023. Later in the month at the Men’s Pan American Volleyball Cup, Canada won the gold over Brazil with both teams qualifying to Santiago 2023. At the 2023 World Sailing Championships, Betsy Alison of the U.S. was the only athlete of the Americas to claim a world title in the sport. The U.S. was the only country to earn medals at the World Shooting Sport Championships, claiming 5 golds, two of which went to Vincent Hancock in the team skeet events.

The crown jewel of the summer events was the Athletics World Championships held in Hungary. The stars of the Americas showed their strength and speed, led by the U.S. with 12 golds and stars such as Noah Lyles, Sha’Carri Richardson, Grant Holloway, Ryan Crouser and Chase Ealey. Canada was led by gold medalists Marco Arop, Ethan Katzberg and Camryn Rogers who helped lead Team Canada to the second place finish with 4 golds. Jamaica earned 3 golds with Shericka Jackson as its top star in the 200m, while the Dominican Republic and Venezuela each earned a gold medal thanks to the performances of Marileidy Paulino in the women’s 400m and Yulimar Rojas in the women’s triple jump.

Canada, Chile and Cuba were the only medalists of the Americas at the Canoe Sprint World Championships, with Canada earning 3 golds to finish in third place at the event. At the FIBA Men’s World Cup, Canada led the Americas with a bronze medal finish in the tournament.

SEPTEMBER

While no countries from the Americas secured a gold at the World Rowing Championships, the U.S. led the way with five silver and two bronze medals. Colombia was the only country to earn a gold at the World Weightlifting Championships thanks to Natalia Llamosa in the women’s 64kg competition. At the Pan American Table Tennis Championships, Hugo Calderano of Brazil and Amy Wang of the U.S. claimed the golds in the singles tournaments. The United States showed its strength at the World Wrestling Championships, placing second behind Japan with four gold medals. Cuba also secured two gold medals to finish in 8th place thanks to Luis Orta and Gabriel Rosillo in the greco-roman events.

The Breaking World Championships were held in Belgium with the gold medalists earning qualification to breaking’s debut at the Olympics in Paris, with Victor Montalvo of the U.S. claiming the gold in the b-boy event. At the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, the U.S. women’s team led the country to a first-place finish in the event thanks to four golds by superstar Simone Biles in the all-around, team, balance beam and floor event. Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade also became a first-time World Champion with her performance in the vault competition.

OCTOBER

After claiming the pro tour title in January, Sara Hughes and Kelly Cheng of the U.S. added the Beach Volleyball World Championship title to their collection. But the month of October was dominated by the return of the Pan American Games, with the capital of Chile hosting the event for the first time in history. And Santiago did not disappoint, breaking a variety of records, including audiences both in person and on television, the number of accredited media, volunteer registrations and many more. Santiago 2023 was also the largest Olympic qualifying event in history, with 31 sports offering either direct qualification or points towards qualification at the Games. The Pan American Games were live-streamed for free across the world for the first time in history thanks to the Panam Sports Channel.

The performances in the field of play were just as spectacular, highlighted by the world-renowned stars of Team Panam Sports. Maggie Mac Neil of Canada led all athletes with 7 total medals including five golds in swimming, just one medal shy of tying the women’s all-time record for total medals at a single Pan Am Game. Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic shined in athletics with two golds, a silver and a bronze. Rebeca Andrade was the star of gymnastics, winning two golds and two silvers.

A record number of countries reached the podium at Santiago 2023, with 34 countries winning medals marking a new benchmark for the continental Games. The United States maintained their dominance at the top of the medal table with 124 golds, followed by Brazil with 66 and Mexico with 52.

Visit the news section of www.panamsports.org for complete coverage of every sport at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.

NOVEMBER

Team USA shined at the World Trampoline Gymnastics Championships, winning a total of 4 golds to lead the medal table. The Santiago 2023 Parapan American Games were also held in Chile following the success of the Pan American Games. Nearly 2,000 para athletes from 31 countries competed in the 7th edition of the multisport event, with Brazil dominating the final medal table. Brazil claimed 156 gold medals, more than 100 more than  the second-place finishers from the United States with 55, followed by Colombia with 50. A total of 21 out of the 31 participating countries earned medals at the Parapan Am Games. The Santiago 2023 Parapan American Games were also broadcast for free around the world on the Panam Sports Channel.

DECEMBER

While the end of the year didn’t feature many international sporting events for the countries of the Americas, Panam Sports ended the year in grand style with the second edition of the Panam Sports Awards held in Miami, U.S. More than 70 athletes from the 41 countries of the Pan American Family attended the awards show that honored the best performances from the Santiago 2023 Pan American and Parapan American Games. Complete with a red carpet, impressive gala ceremony and afterparty, the athletes of the Americas celebrated the successful conclusion of 2023 after months of hard work and effort to reach their goals. Discover the winners of the Panam Sports Awards here.

Panam Sports looks forward to another outstanding year of sport on the American continent in 2024, highlighted by the Paris 2024 Olympic Games!