41 NOCs to compete at Lima 2019 as Games officially open
The Lima 2019 Pan American Games officially started on the evening of Friday 26 July, with a spectacular Opening Ceremony at the Peruvian capital’s National Stadium.
The 18th edition of the continental games will see 41 NOCs compete in 39 sports, with bodybuilding and surfing set to make their Pan American Games debut. A record 22 of the sports will provide athletes with the opportunity to qualify for next year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The quadrennial multi-sport event will feature more than 6,600 athletes competing in state of the art new facilities, which are targeted at inspiring the next generation of athletes in Peru. 110 of the competing athletes have won Olympic medals in their career, signalling the high level of competition fans can expect to enjoy.
The sold out Opening Ceremony kicked off at 6pm local time, with Puerto Rican global music star Luis Fonsi headlining with a high-energy performance.
Lima 2019 President Carlos Neuhaus opened the speeches, followed by Panam Sports President Neven Ilic. This was followed by Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra officially declaring the Games open.
The Opening Ceremony also saw the culmination of the Lima 2019 Torch Relay, with Cecilia Tait, a Peruvian Seoul 1988 Olympic volleyball silver medallist, lighting the cauldron.
The Games are being held from 26 July – 11 August.