Chile’s President, Gabriel Boric, has cut the ribbon on four new sports venues that have been developed for Santiago’s staging of the 2023 Pan American Games and Parapan American Games.
The four facilities are situated within Parque Estadio Nacional, considered the largest sports park in South America, and between them are set to stage 14 sports and 21 disciplines at the Panam Games, which run from October 20 to November 5, followed by the Parapan Games from November 17-26.
The new venues are the Centro de Deportes de Contacto (staging judo, wrestling, karate and taekwondo competitions), Centro Paralímpico (handball, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, badminton, powerlifting, boccia, table tennis, goalball, judo, seven-a-side and five-a-side football), Centro Acuático (swimming, artistic swimming, water polo and diving) and Centro de Tenis y Raquetas.
Santiago was confirmed as host of the 2023 Games in November 2017 after its bid received unanimous backing from the PanAmSports body. The Chilean capital appeared set to secure the multi-sport event after the Argentine Olympic Committee (COA) earlier withdrew Buenos Aires’ bid for the Games in favour of focusing on the 2027 edition of the event, which was eventually awarded to Barranquilla, Colombia in August 2021.
Boric, who was elected President of Chile in March 2022, said: “At some point there were doubts, since the pandemic was a very hard blow to planning. The first thing we talked about when we arrived in government was that here we had a duty of national pride. We couldn’t fail our athletes. We couldn’t fail our country or our flag.”
He added: “I can say that we are ready for the Pan American and Parapan American Games. Behind every detail there was a worker who spent a long time giving their best. My deepest appreciation to you.”
Harold Mayne-Nicholls, CEO of Santiago 2023, stated: “It is incredible, after this journey, to reach this point and open the doors of these venues. Now the only thing missing is the people. We invite all Chileans to be part of this party that is about to begin.”