Team USA celebrates 100 days to the Pan American Games

July 06, 2011, 6:16 p.m. (ET)

Team USA celebrates 100 days to the Pan American Games  

Approximately 650 U.S. athletes will participate in quadrennial event 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Today marks 100 days until the Opening Ceremony of the XVI Pan American Games, to be held Oct. 14-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The Pan American Games represent the largest contingent of Team USA athletes to compete in an international sporting event with approximately 650 U.S. athletes gearing up for the 2011 Games.

Considered an international celebration of friendship and sport, the 2011 Pan American Games will feature nearly 6,000 athletes representing 42 countries, making it the largest sporting event to be hosted by Mexico since the 1986 FIFA World Cup. The Games, historically held one year before the Olympic Games, feature the 28 sports competed at the Olympic Games plus additional disciplines elected by the host country and International Federations.

"The Pan American Games are a highlight of the international competition schedule and we're all looking forward to Guadalajara," said Alan Ashley, USOC chief of sport performance and the Chef de Mission of Team USA for the XVI Pan American Games. "The sheer number of U.S. athletes attending this event is incredible and fans can expect exciting and impressive performances as Team USA competes against some of the best athletes in the world."

Team USA will field Pan American teams in the following sports: archery, badminton, baseball, basketball, bowling, boxing, canoe/kayak, cycling, diving, equestrian, fencing, field hockey, gymnastics, judo, karate, modern pentathlon, pelota, racquetball, roller skating, rowing, rugby 7s, sailing, shooting, softball, squash, swimming, synchronized swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, team handball, tennis, track & field, triathlon, volleyball, water polo, water skiing, weightlifting and wrestling.

Some of the notable U.S. Olympians who have competed in past Pan American Games include Jim Abbott (baseball), Arthur Ashe (tennis), Henry Cejudo (wrestling), Shawn Johnson (gymnastics), Michael Jordan (basketball), Sugar Ray Leonard (boxing), Nastia Liukin (gymnastics), Greg Louganis (diving), Shannon Miller (gymnastics), Hope Solo (soccer), Leon Spinks (boxing), Mark Spitz (swimming) and Amy Van Dyken (swimming). 

The first Pan American Games took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1951, and U.S. cities hosted the event in 1959 (Chicago) and 1987 (Indianapolis). For more information on the Pan American Games, click here.

For more information, please contact the USOC Communications Division at (719) 866-4529 or visit Follow us on Twitter and Facebook .