The Pan American Games are an Olympic-style competition for athletes from all nations of the Americas held every four years, always one year before the Olympic Games. Until this summer, many of us did not know much about the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. The exposure to such a variety of athletes and sporting events has generated a lot of interest.
The first edition of the Pan American Games was held in 1951 in Buenos Aires. The Parapan American Games started in November 1999 in Mexico City. Similarly, the Parapan American Games became a qualifying event for the Paralympic Games. Over the years, the Library has kept a record of the games through clipping files, books, reports, magazines, music and video.
This bilingual (English/Spanish) book lists by sport the results of the Games from 1951 to 1999. Listings include a chronology of the sport in the context of the Pan American Games and the gold, silver, and bronze winners for each year.
Charts show how many medals each country won for that sport in each set of games. Also included are lists of medals by country, medals by sport, sports by years contested, countries of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO), presidents of PASO, and a chronology of the Games.
Tracing the history of Canada's participation in the Games? See the Official report of Canada's participation in the Pan American Games, by the Pan American Games Committee of Canada beginning with Canada's first year of participation in 1955 up to 1971.
If you are really keen, you can read the 344-page Pan American Games Canadian team handbook 1979 : San Juan, Puerto Rico, July 1-15 = Jeux panaméricains equipe canadienne bottin 1979 : San Juan, porto Rico, 1-15 juillet.
Cities often prepare years in advance to bid and host major events like this. We have the 1992 report called A festival of sport for the Americas : the 1999 Pan American Games in Metropolitan Toronto : presentation to the Canadian Olympic Pan American Games by the 1999 Pan American Games Bid Committee of Toronto. It took years before we got the games. And years to plan and construct some of the venues.
This 2011 report North side of Ellesmere Road, east and west sides of Military Trail, east of Morningside Avenue, Pan Am Games Aquatic Centre official plan and rezoning applications : final report preceded our new "Olympic-ready" state-of-the-art aquatic centre.
And if you wondering if anyone pays attention to money, check out the Toronto Pan/Parapan Am Games host city showcase : program & major special event reserve fund.
Researching the history of sporting events? Ask at the Humanities and Social Sciences information desk for books, reports and our files on the Pan Am games. You will find newspaper clippings, programs, pamphlets and more. Search for articles on our databases; come to us for the print copies.
Did you know that we even have videos, CDs and sheet music? Ode to the athletes : music from the 1999 Pan American Games : music and lyrics, for 2 sopranos, chorus and orchestra is one of a number of pieces by Victor Davies written for the 1999 games in Winnipeg. And The spirit of the games is a CBC video on the Winnipeg Games. These are found in the Arts Department, 5th floor.
Although books make up a large part of our sports collection, we have all kinds of special things to delight and surprise you. Be a good sport. Walk, ride or race to the Toronto Reference Library and see what you can discover.