During the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games, representatives of the delegations from Latin America proposed a regional sports competition similar to the Olympics for all Western Hemisphere nations. This proposal eventually led to the first meeting of the Pan American Sports Congress in August 1940 at Buenos Aires, which was chosen to host the first Pan American Games in 1942. However, they were postponed by World War II until 1951. Ever since then, the games have been held every four years. There was an attempt to create a winter version of the games, but those plans were eventually abandoned.
There are currently about 40 sports contested in these games, and they are Archery, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Boxing, Canoe/Kayak, Cycling (track and road), Diving, Equestrian, Fencing, Field Hockey, Gymnastics, Jai Alai, Judo, Karate, Modern Pentathlon, Mountain Biking, Racquetball, Roller Sports, Rowing, Sailing, Shooting, Soccer, Softball, Squash, Swimming, Synchronized Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Team Handball, Tennis, Track and Field, Triathlon, Volleyball (indoor and beach), Water Polo, Water Skiing, Weightlifting, and Wrestling.
The host cities of all previous and future Pan-American Games are listed below.
1951- Buenos Aires, Argentina
1955- Mexico City, Mexico
1959- Chicago, Illinois, United States
1963- São Paulo, Brazil
1967- Winnipeg, Canada
1971- Cali, Colombia
1975- Mexico City, Mexico
1979- San Juan, Puerto Rico
1983- Caracas, Venezuela
1987- Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
1991- Havana, Cuba
1995- Mar del Plata, Argentina
1999- Winnipeg, Canada
2003- Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
2007- Rio de Janiero, Brazil