Tennis star Nicolas Massu, para-athlete Robinson Mendez, swimmer Kristel Kobrich, wrestler Yasmani Acosta, NFL player Sammis Reyes and para-athlete Francisca Mardones are the first ambassadors presented by organizers of the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games set for this October.

New names have signed on to join the organization of Santiago 2023, the most important multi-sport event in the history of Chile. The names of these new Games Ambassadors were revealed on Monday and form a “dream team” of athletes from conventional and Paralympic sports.

Chilean Sports Minister Alexandra Benado, Santiago 2023 Executive Director Gianna Cunazza and Chilean Olympic Committee President Miguel Angel Mujica welcomed the double Olympic champion Nicolas Massu and para-athlete Robinson Mendez during the presentation ceremony.

Massu and Mendez are joined by swimmer Kristel Kobrich, wrestler Yasmani Acosta, NFL player Sammis Reyes and para-athlete Francisca Mardones, with other athletes expected to join the Ambassador Program as the months tick down to the start of the Games.

“Our ambassador program not only represents something symbolic, but also reflects all the values that we want to be represented at Santiago 2023. We have a tremendous opportunity to showcase to the world what it means to be Chilean men and women and I have no doubt that our ambassadors will reflect that,” said Sports Minister Alexandra Benado, highlighting the outstanding careers and accomplishments of the athlete ambassadors.

“It is a very important milestone, because we are convinced that the faces and people we have chosen in this initial stage of the Ambassador Program will allow us to make the Games even more renowned,” added Santiago 2023 Executive Director Gianna Cunazza.

“We are going to have 700 Chilean athletes competing at home, that will help make sport attractive for many boys and girls and mothers and fathers and encourage them to practice sport. We are convinced that sport can change the Chilean youth,” said Chilean NOC President Miguel Angel Mujica.


One representative of “Team Santiago 2023” is double Olympic champion and current Davis Cup captain, Nicolas Massu, who highlighted the significance of this event for the new generations and the general public.

“I want to support, I want to be there for what they need, both from my experience as an athlete and as a coach. It is important for the new generations to see the relevance of these Games and see that the whole country is united by filling the stadiums and going to watch sports and all of the different disciplines so they can enjoy something so beautiful,” he said.

Meanwhile, para-athlete Robinson Mendez, one of the first high-performance Chilean athletes to stand out in wheelchair tennis by being ranked 11th in the world and who today competes as a para-canoeist and leads the IND’s Promises Chile program, expressed his satisfaction with the distinction.

“It is a pride to have experienced four Paralympic Games as well as four Parapan American Games. Today being named an ambassador for our Games in Chile makes me proud. I want to invite all of Chile and all the people to go watch and encourage our athletes,” said Menendez.

The Pan American Games will be held from October 20 to November 5, 2023 and consist of 39 sports and 60 disciplines. The Parapan American Games will then be held from November 17 to 26 featuring 17 sports and 18 disciplines.