July 12, 2006 – Thursday, July 13 marks the one-year countdown to the Opening Ceremony of the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Led by Chef de Mission Tricia Smith, Canada will send a team of approximately 425 athletes to compete at the Games, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) announced today.
The 2007 Pan American Games, scheduled from July 13-29, will feature a total of 34 sport disciplines including all 28 Olympic summer sports along with the Pan-American only sports of bowling, futsal (indoor soccer), karate, roller sports, squash and water skiing.
Held every four years since 1951, the Pan American Games will involve a total of 332 events, 42 participating countries and an estimated 5,500 athletes. The majority of the events will be contested at the 2008 Olympic Games with the exceptions of some sailing classes, slalom canoeing and the women’s eights in rowing.
In 2007, the Pan American Games will feature several competitions which will act as direct qualifiers for the 2008 Olympic Games. Among the sport disciplines that provide National Sport Federations with an opportunity to earn a qualifying position for the 2008 Olympic Games are equestrian, field hockey, handball, modern pentathlon, shooting, synchronized swimming, table tennis, triathlon and water polo. A complete list of all 2008 Olympic qualification competitions being contested at the 2007 Pan American Games can be found by <http://www.olympic.ca/EN/organization/news/2006/0712events.shtml>clicking here.
In preparation for the 2007 Pan American Games, the COC will be conducting its second official site visit to Rio de Janeiro from July 17-22, 2006. The primary objectives of next week’s visit include a tour of all sport venues and the Pan American village to view the construction progress of the facilities, meet with key staff members of the Rio Organizing Committee (CIO-RIO) to discuss operational logistics, and meet with the Canadian Consulate.
Media accreditation for the 2007 Pan American Games will commence in November when CO-RIO is expected to deliver the official press accreditation forms to the COC and other National Olympic Committees. Upon receipt, the COC will begin the process of requesting applications for accreditation from Canadian print and Internet media. All media interested in attending the 2007 Pan American Games must submit an application for accreditation to the COC as this is the only means for Canadian media to acquire official credentials to cover the Games.
During the lead-up to the Opening Ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, the COC will also provide members of the media with bi-weekly athlete profiles and monthly story ideas beginning in January 2007.
At the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Canada finished third overall with 128 total medals. The United States of America led all nations with 270 medals followed by Cuba with 152. Brazil was fourth with 123.