Pan American Sports Organization

Pan American Sports Organization

Countries with one or more members are in green
Formation 1940
Type Sports federation
Headquarters Mexico City, Mexico
41 National Olympic Committees
Official language
English, Spanish, French
Julio César Maglione

The Pan American Sports Organization (acronym: PASO); (Spanish: Organización Deportiva Panamericana, Portuguese: Organização Desportiva Pan-Americana ODEPA; French: Organisation Sportive Pan-Américaine OSPA) is an international organization which represents the current 41 National Olympic Committees of the North American and South American continents.

It is affiliated with the International Olympic Committee and its affiliated bodies, including ANOC, the Association of National Olympic Committees, and serves as the continental association of the Americas.

The organization's foremost event is the quadrennial Pan American Games, held since 1951. The Parapan American Games was inaugurated in 1999 for disabled athletes and is held alongside the able-bodied Pan American Games. The Pan American Winter Games, for winter sports, was held only once in 1990. The Pan American Sports Festival was inaugurated in 2014 as a developmental event for the region's athletes.

Affiliated organizations

There are four other organisations affiliated to the Pan American Sports Organization, they are:

Exclusion of indigenous sports

Despite criticisms that the Ulama or Mesoamerican Ballgame and Lacrosse[1][2] are not included in the program of the Pan American Games, the number of countries enrolled in its member associations is not enough because 14 are needed to have it included in the Games. For example, nowadays, there are 4 nations as effective members of Federation of International Lacrosse (Bermuda,Canada, The United States and Iroquois). However, the Iroquois nation is not a member of PASO. On the other hand, there are seven associate members of the Federation of International Lacrosse (Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru and Haiti[3]). Thus, there are twelve nations members of FIL, still not enough to include the sports in the Pan Am Games. Lacrosse is recognized by Sports Accord and by the International Olympic Committee. However the same thing does not occur with ulama, which inhibits its participation in the Pan American Games. It is likely that lacrosse will be included when more American nations start practicing it. Besides, the Lacrosse Copa America was created, and the first one was played in Mexico in 2015.


Just like the International Olympic Committee, the Pan American Sports Organization has its own flag. The flag has the four words, "América", "Espírito", "Sports" and "Fraternité", each respectively in one of the four official languages of the organization, namely Spanish, Portuguese, English and French. Also, on the flag is a torch along with the Olympic Rings and five circles with the official colours of the Olympics on a white background. Finally, the words PASO and ODEPA are written to indicate the organization the flag represents.

Member countries

In the following table, the year in which the NOC was recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is also given if it is different from the year in which the NOC was created.

Nation Code National Olympic Committee Created Region Ref.
 Antigua and Barbuda ANT The Antigua and Barbuda Olympic Association 1966/1976 Caribbean
 Argentina ARG Argentinian Olympic Committee 1923 South America
 Aruba ARU Aruban Olympic Committee 1985/1986 Caribbean
 Bahamas BAH Bahamas Olympic Association 1952 Caribbean
 Barbados BAR Barbados Olympic Association 1955 Caribbean
 Belize BIZ Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association 1967 Central America
 Bermuda BER Bermuda Olympic Association 1935/1936 North America
 Bolivia BOL Bolivian Olympic Committee 1932/1936 South America
 Brazil BRA Brazilian Olympic Committee 1914/1935 South America
 British Virgin Islands IVB British Virgin Islands Olympic Committee 1980/1982 Caribbean
 Canada CAN Canadian Olympic Committee 1904/1907 North America
 Cayman Islands CAY Cayman Islands Olympic Committee 1973/1976 Caribbean
 Chile CHI Chilean Olympic Committee 1934 South America
 Colombia COL Colombian Olympic Committee 1936/1948 South America
 Costa Rica CRC Costa Rican Olympic Committee 1953/1954 Central America
 Cuba CUB Cuban Olympic Committee 1926/1954 Caribbean
 Dominica DMA Dominica Olympic Committee 1987/1993 Caribbean
 Dominican Republic DOM Dominican Republic Olympic Committee 1946/1962 Caribbean
 Ecuador ECU Ecuadorian National Olympic Committee 1948/1959 South America
 El Salvador ESA El Salvador Olympic Committee 1949/1962 Central America
 Grenada GRN Grenada Olympic Committee 1984 Caribbean
 Guatemala GUA Guatemalan Olympic Committee 1947 Central America
 Guyana GUY Guyana Olympic Association 1935/1948 Caribbean
 Haiti HAI Haitian Olympic Committee 1914/1924 Caribbean
 Honduras HON Honduran Olympic Committee 1956 Central America
 Jamaica JAM Jamaica Olympic Association 1936 Caribbean
 Mexico MEX Mexican Olympic Committee 1923 North America
 Nicaragua NCA Nicaragua Olympic Committee 1959 Central America
 Panama PAN Panama Olympic Committee 1934/1947 Central America
 Paraguay PAR Paraguayan Olympic Committee 1970 South America
 Peru PER Peruvian Olympic Committee 1924/1936 South America
 Puerto Rico PUR Puerto Rico Olympic Committee 1948 Caribbean
 Saint Kitts and Nevis SKN St. Kitts and Nevis Olympic Committee 1986/1993 Caribbean
 Saint Lucia LCA St. Lucia Olympic Committee 1987/1993 Caribbean
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines VIN St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Olympic Committee 1982/1987 Caribbean
 Suriname SUR Suriname Olympic Committee 1959 Caribbean (South America)
 Trinidad and Tobago TTO Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee 1946/1948 Caribbean
 United States USA United States Olympic Committee 1894 North America
 Uruguay URU Uruguayan Olympic Committee 1923 South America
 Venezuela VEN Venezuelan Olympic Committee 1935 South America
 Virgin Islands ISV Virgin Islands Olympic Committee 1967 Caribbean

Former member: Netherlands Antilles Olympic Committee

There are three areas not a part of PASO as they are not independent nations:

PASO Presidents

S. No. Name Country Tenure
1. Mr. Avery Brundage  United States 1940 - 1951
2. Mr. José de Jesús Clark Flores  Mexico 1951 - 1955
3. Mr. Doug Roby  United States 1955 - 1959
4. Mr. José de Jesús Clark Flores  Mexico 1959 - 1971
5. Mr. Sylvio de Magalhaes Padilha1  Brazil 1971 - 1971
6. Mr. José Beracasa  Venezuela 1971 - 1975
7. Mr. Mario Vázquez Raña  Mexico 1975 - 2015
8. Mr. Ivar Sisniega  Mexico 2015 - 2015
9. Mr. Julio César Maglione  Uruguay 11th April 2015 - Till Date

^1 Served as acting president for two months until new election.

PASO Athlete's Commission

In 2011 a new PASO Athlete's commission was formed. Former Canadian Rhythmic Gymnast and multiple time Pan American Games gold medalist Alexandra Orlando was selected the president of the commission. The commission will be made up of seven athletes (5 current and 2 former) with two being reserved for non-Olympic sports.[4][5]

Member Country Since Pan American Games Participation
Alexandra Orlando  Canada2011 2003–2007
Mijaín López  Cuba2011 2003–2011
Samyr Laine  Haiti2011 2003–2011
Andrea Estrada  Guatemala2011 2011
Guillermo Perez  Mexico 2011 2011
Pedro Causil  Colombia 2011 2011
Shannon Nishi  United States 2011 2011

Accession of countries per games

Games Host Accession Countries Total
I Argentina Buenos Aires Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela. 21
II Mexico Mexico City Bahamas, Canada, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico. 4
III United States Chicago Guyana, Netherlands Antilles. 2
IV Brazil São Paulo Barbados. 1
V Canada Winnipeg Belize, Bolivia, Bermuda, Virgin Islands. 4
VI Colombia Cali - 0
VII Mexico Mexico City Honduras. 1
VIII Puerto Rico San Juan Antigua and Barbuda. 1
IX Venezuela Caracas British Virgin Islands, Suriname. 2
X United States Indianapolis Aruba, Cayman Islands, Grenada. 3
XI Cuba Havana Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. 1
XII Argentina Mar de Plata Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia. 3
XIII Canada Winnipeg - 0
XIV Dominican Republic Santo Domingo - 0
XV Brazil Rio de Janeiro - 0
XVI Mexico Guadalajara - 0
XVII Canada Toronto - -
XVIII Peru Lima Future -

See also


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