The first Junior Pan American Games in history are now just one month away as Cali, Colombia and the best young athletes of the Americas prepare to compete for a ticket to the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.
With just one month remaining until the start of the most important multisport event for young athletes in the Americas, the first Junior Pan American Games of Cali-Valle 2021, Colombia and the state of Valle del Cauca celebrated this important milestone with an impressive and emotional ceremony at Lake Calima, the location that will host this long-awaited event.
As is custom with major international events, Cali 2021 organized the special “One Month to the Junior Pan American Games” weekend event that began with impressive light shows on Friday and Saturday night, with the grand finale on Sunday evening. The ceremony was led by Valle del Cauca Governor Clara Luz Roldan with many athletes, press and sports authorities in attendance.
Lake Calima, an iconic site of the region, was illuminated with the colors of the flags of Colombia and of the State for the first time in history before an impressive fireworks show officially started the one-month countdown to the Games.
“We are one month away from Valle del Cauca writing a new chapter in the rich sporting history of the Americas with this great event that signals a rebirth for the region with a competition that will allow us to show why we are invincible. We want to tell the entire continent that we are ready, that we have prepared ourselves with discipline, love and leadership, to receive everyone in this land made of pure gold,” said Governor Roldan.
“The time has come to once again feel proud of who we are, to confirm that we are great because we are capable of everything. We are going to show the world that we are a land of champions. With my soul filled with pride, I want to ask our young people to fly high because the world is theirs,” added Roldan.
“More than 3,500 athletes from 41 countries will arrive in Valle del Cauca along with about 10,000 people in general, including family members of the athletes, journalists, international volunteers, leaders and coaches of the multiple delegations. We want to receive all of them with the warmth and friendship with which all Colombians are known for,” said Cali 2021 Executive Director, Jose Luis Echeverry.
“We are already entering the final stretch of these Games that will undoubtedly make sports history throughout the Americas and the world. With this beautiful ceremony at Lake Calima we are telling the entire continent and our athletes that Cali, Valle del Cauca and all of Colombia are waiting for them with open arms. There is only one month left, perhaps the most important for preparing this great event that will mark a before and after for Colombian sport. From now on I invite everyone to be part of this sports festival, to take care of each other and to encourage this new generation of athletes who represent our future,” said Panam Sports President, Neven Ilic, who unfortunately could not attend the ceremony while attending the ANOC General Assembly in Greece.
The most emotional moment of the event was when the composer of the Official Song of the Cali 2021 Junior Pan American Games, Hendrix B, made a surprise appearance on a boat to perform his hit called ‘Por Nosotros’ (For Us).
This youth sports festival, which will take place from November 25 to December 5, 2021, will mark a rebirth for the Valle del Cauca region and help reactivate a large number of sectors of the economy such as tourism, gastronomy, transport and culture, among others.