HOUSTON - Scott Blackmun, CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee announced today during a press conference that this fall, more than 1,700 athletes and coaches from across the United States will arrive in Houston to participate in the team processing for the Pan American and ParaPan American Games being held in Guadalajara, Mexico. All athletes will be processed at the Hilton Houston North prior to departing for the Games at Bush Intercontinental Airport via United/Continental Airlines. The Pan American Games will be held October 14-30, 2011, and the ParaPan American Games will follow on November 12-20, 2011.
Originally proposed in 1932, the Pan American Games were first held in 1951 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The PanAmerican and ParaPan American Games are now held every four years, falling on year prior to the summer Olympic Games. This year, athletes from 42 nations are expected to compete in a total of 36 different sporting events. Many of those athletes will be using the Games as preparation for Olympic qualifying competitions, while others will be able to directly qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
“Houston has enjoyed a long and successful partnership with the United States Olympic Committee,” states Janis Schmees, Executive Director of the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority. “This relationship dates all the way back to 1986 when the Olympic Festival was hosted in the City.”
Since that time, several Olympic events have been awarded to Houston, including the upcoming 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials – Marathon being held in January during the same weekend as the annual Houston Marathon.