Mexico Finishes 5th Overall at the 2007 Pan American Games

MP News Staff

The XV Pan American Games Rio 2007 held their closing ceremony today, with Mexico coming in fifth place overall with a total of 73 medals.

The Mexican delegation ended the games on a high note: just today, Laura Sánchez and Paola Espinosa took the gold in Synchronized Diving, and Michoacán’s Everardo Cristóbal added his gold medal with a win in the flatwater canoe C-1 500 meter competition (the day before he also won gold in the C-1 1000 meter race).

The medals breakdown was very impressive: 18 gold, 24 silver and 31 bronze, giving Mexico a hefty lead over countries such as Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.

The event was not without its controversy for Mexico, however: on July 19, judges decided to rescind the country’s bronze medal for Women’s Artistic Gymnastics because Marisela Arizmendi Torres (MEX), enrolled as a delegation official, but participated as an athlete. As a result, Mexico lost the third place and bronze medal went to Canada.

The Closing Ceremony was held at Maracanã Stadium, a celebration for the athletes and their feats. The next edition of the Pan American Games will be held in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2011, and several members of the organizing committee were present. Brazilian accordionists played a duet with Mexican mariachis, and the Mexican flag was hoisted in tribute to the 2011 Games, to be played in Guadalajara. Slowly, the Pan American flame was extinguished in a metal globe erected on the field.

Guadalajara will be the third Mexican city to host the Pan American Games and the first outside of the Federal District, which hosted the second and seventh games in 1955 and 1975, respectively.

Despite chilly weather, it was a gala ending to the hemisphere-wide event, which drew some 5,500 athletes from 42 countries, as well as 2,000 delegation members, 3,000 journalists and 15,000 volunteers.

The games lasted16 days and included the participation of 5,662 athletes from 42 countries in the Americas.