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During the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games, representatives of the delegations from Latin America proposed a regional sports competition similar to the Olympics for all Western Hemisphere nations. This proposal eventually led to the first meeting of the Pan American Sports Congress in August 1940 at Buenos Aires, which was chosen to host the first Pan American Games in 1942. However, they were postponed by World War II until 1951. Ever since then, the games have been held every four years. There was an attempt to create a winter version of the games, but those plans were eventually abandoned.

There are currently about 40 sports contested in these games, and they are Archery, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Boxing, Canoe/Kayak, Cycling (track and road), Diving, Equestrian, Fencing, Field Hockey, Gymnastics, Jai Alai, Judo, Karate, Modern Pentathlon, Mountain Biking, Racquetball, Roller Sports, Rowing, Sailing, Shooting, Soccer, Softball, Squash, Swimming, Synchronized Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Team Handball, Tennis, Track and Field, Triathlon, Volleyball (indoor and beach), Water Polo, Water Skiing, Weightlifting, and Wrestling.

The host cities of all previous and future Pan-American Games are listed below.

1951- Buenos Aires, Argentina

1955- Mexico City, Mexico

1959- Chicago, Illinois, United States

1963- São Paulo, Brazil

1967- Winnipeg, Canada

1971- Cali, Colombia

1975- Mexico City, Mexico

1979- San Juan, Puerto Rico

1983- Caracas, Venezuela

1987- Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

1991- Havana, Cuba

1995- Mar del Plata, Argentina

1999- Winnipeg, Canada

2003- Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

2007- Rio de Janiero, Brazil





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