Pan American Sports Organization
Countries with one or more members are in green
|Headquarters||Mexico City, Mexico|
|Membership||41 National Olympic Committees|
|Official language||English, Spanish|
|President||Mario Vázquez Raña|
The Pan American Sports Organization (acronym: PASO; Spanish: Organización Deportiva Panamericana, Portuguese: Organização Desportiva Pan-Americana ODEPA, French: Organisation Sportive Pan-Américaine) is an international organization which represents the current 41 National Olympic Committees of the North American and South American continents.
It is affiliated with the International Olympic Committee and its affiliated bodies, including ANOC, the Association of National Olympic Committees, and serves as the continental association of the Americas.
The organization's foremost event is the quadrennial Pan American Games, held since 1951. The Parapan American Games was inaugurated in 1999 for disabled athletes and is held alongside the able-bodied Pan American Games. The Pan American Winter Games, for winter sports, was held only once in 1990. The Pan American Sports Festival was inaugurated in 2014 as a developmental event for the region's athletes.
There are four other organisations affiliated to the Pan American Sports Organization, they are:
- ODESUR – organisers of the South American Games
- CASCO – organisers of the Central American and Caribbean Games
- ORDECA – organisers of the Central American Games
- ODEBO – organisers of the Bolivarian Games
Exclusion of indigenous sports
Despite criticisms that the Ulama or Mesoamerican Ballgame and Lacrosse are not included in the program of the Pan American Games, the number of countries enrolled in its member associations is very small and they are not recognized by the International Olympic Committee, which inhibits their participation in the Pan American Games.
Just like the International Olympic Committee, the Pan American Sports Organization has its own flag. The flag has the four words, "América", "Espírito", "Sports" and "Fraternité", each respectively in one of the four official languages of the organization, namely Spanish, Portuguese, English and French. Also, on the flag is a torch along with the Olympic Rings and five circles with the official colours of the Olympics on a white background. Finally, the words PASO and ODEPA are written to indicate the organization the flag represents.
In the following table, the year in which the NOC was recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is also given if it is different from the year in which the NOC was created.
Former member: Netherlands Antilles Olympic Committee
|No.||Name||Origin||Date of birth/death||Took office||Left office||Notes|
|1||Avery Brundage||United States||September 28, 1887
May 8, 1975
|2||José de Jesús Clark Flores||Mexico||1908
|3||Doug Roby||United States||March 24, 1898
March 31, 1992
|4||José de Jesús Clark Flores||Mexico||1908
|1959||1971||Died in office|
|5||Sylvio de Magalhaes Padilha1||Brazil||1909
|7||Mario Vázquez Raña||Mexico||June 7, 1932
|1975||Longest serving president.|
^1 Served as acting president for two months until new election.
PASO Athlete's Commission
In 2011 a new PASO Athlete's commission was formed. Former Canadian Rhythmic Gymnast and multiple time Pan American Games gold medalist Alexandra Orlando was selected the president of the commission. The commission will be made up of seven athletes (5 current and 2 former) with two being reserved for non-Olympic sports.
|Member||Country||Since||Pan American Games Participation|
|Shannon Nishic||United States||2011||2011|