The Pan American Games are essentially a Western hemisphere version of the Olympic games. Held every four years, one year ahead of the Summer Olympics, the games were developed by Latin American representatives of the International Olympic Committee in 1932 to promote sports. Competition feature both Olympic sports and additional disciplines.
The first Pan American Games were held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1951. Since then, the competition has doubled in sized and gained international importance.
Brazil served as host of the Games for a second time this year. The country hosted its first Games in 1963, in Sao Paolo. The 2007 competition was held in Rio de Janeiro from July 13-29.
In this series of reports, VOA Sports fills us in on some of the event results, while correspondent David Byrd traveled to Rio de Janeiro and introduced us to some of the athletes.