Congratulations to Isho Shiba of the McGrory’s Boxing Club and Ibrahim Kamal of Cabbagetown Boxing Club on qualifying for theXV Pan AM Games. The games, in its 15th installment, will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from July 13-29, 2007.
Both athletes came out champions in their weight categories at the final qualifier that was held in Trinidad & Tobago. Both gentlemen are excited yet anxious to compete, much less see the amazing country of Brazil! Stay tuned in July for the exclusive interview with both these gentlemen as we gain insight into the minds of these future champions!


A Brief History of the Pan AM Games

During the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, representatives of several Latin-American countries proposed a kind of regional Olympics for all of the Americas. The Central American Games were already in existence, having been hosted by Mexico in 1926 and by Cuba in 1930.

In 1938, the Central American Games expanded in scope, becoming the Central American and Caribbean Games, and the idea of international sports competition also embracing North America was revived after being on hold for six years. As a result, the Pan American Sports Congress was founded at Buenos Aires, Argentina, in August of 1940 and delegates agreed that Buenos Aires should host the first Pan American Games in 1942.

That didn’t happen because of World War II, but the Pan American Sports Congress met again during the 1948 Olympics in London and revived the idea. Buenos Aires finally hosted the first Pan American Games, which opened on February 25, 1951. The 21 countries that took part were represented by 2,513 athletes competing in 18 sports.

The organizing body was renamed the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) in 1955, when the games were held in Mexico City. Canada competed for the first time, bringing the total number of countries to 22. There are currently 42 countries from North, South, and Central America and the Caribbean in PASO, which is headquartered in Mexico City. More than 5,000 athletes have participated at each Pan American Games since 1995.

The Pan American Games are patterned after the Olympics in many respects. The opening and closing ceremonies are very similar, and both athletes and officials take the Olympic oaths. However, there have been more sports in the Pan American Games. Bowling, in-line skating, racquetball, roller skating, squash, and water skiing are among the non-Olympic sports that are or have been on the Pan American Games program