The Bolivarian Games 2017, more than just a sporting event

logo-2017 Juegos Bol.

Officially the XVIII Bolivarian Games, is an international multi-sport event; it will be held from 11-25 November 2017, in Santa Marta (Magdalena), Colombia. Some events will take place in Ciénaga and Aracataca; while in Cali there will be four disciplines (track cycling, golf, bowling and sports shooting), and in Bogotá, two (horse riding and water skiing). 11 countries will participate: Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Venezuela and Colombia. The Dominican Republic,
El Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay, as invited countries. Some 46 sports in competition. Around 3480 athletes; + coaches and officials. 40,000 Games commemorative stamps will be put into circulation on
November 11.

The Bolivarian Sports Games were created to honor the Venezuelan hero Simón Bolívar, liberator of the current Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela, and its first edition was held in 1938, during the fourth centenary of the foundation of Bogotá. The Bolivarian Games are held every four years and depend on the Bolivarian Sports Organization which, in turn, is part of the Pan American Sports Organization (ODEPA), a subsidiary of the International Olympic Committee. It was precisely at the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936, when the representatives of Colombia raised the idea of organizing regional games that would unite the Bolivarian countries.

Colombia, current champion of the Bolivarian Games and who won for the first time in history the title in Trujillo 2013, hopes to defend the crown. It will have a team of 690 athletes, of which 320 women; among
them world and Olympic champions.

The new Eduardo Santos football stadium will be located in the Bolivarian sports village in the Bureche area and will have FIFA characteristics. Its capacity will be around 30,000 people and will serve to host events not only for the local championship but for other events such as eliminatory and concentrations of selections of Colombia. The arena of events will be the stage for combat sports and others, during the Bolivarian games, example: TAEKWONDO, boxing, karate, gymnastics, weightlifting.

The Mayor of Santa Marta commented: ” this competition will mark an important step for the tourism and the development of the city. He even pointed out that Santa Marta will not make the same mistakes that certain cities, where large investments were made for sporting events and then abandoned. In Santa Marta there is a project to promote and give permanence to the development of various sports disciplines.”

The President of the Republic, Juan Manuel Santos delivered the national flag to the Colombian delegation on November 2. This ceremony was held at the Casa de Nariño; a group of athletes, coaches and managers accompanied Fabriana Arias, skater, to take the national flag. The Olympic silver medalist, in boxing, the Antioquian Yuberjen Martinez will be the Colombian flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the Games. President Santos affirmed that “sport is something that unites Colombians, at a time when we need it, because when we see our athletes there is no political color, there are no differences and we all unite. Therefore, now in these Bolivarian Games you athletes have a new responsibility and the honor of being a symbol of union and improvement of all Colombians “.

The torch of the Games will tour the cities of: Bogotá, Cali, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Ciénaga and Santa Marta. It is the first time in history that the Bolivarian Fire leaves Caracas the birthplace of the Liberator,
Simon Bolivar, to reach the city of his death, in Santa Marta, dicember 1830.
The mascot of these games is Ajaytuké, a sea urchin. The reason behind the organizer’s choice is to convey the message to protect animals and coral reefs.

This huge event confirms the potential of Colombia to organize international events, and of Santa Marta in particular. Also of its hotel, tourism and sport infrastructure capacity to host at the same time, so many participants and visitors. It also confirms that Peace is well present, with adequate security conditions to ensure the success of this international multi-sport event, the most important in the history of the town. We have an open heart to receive you. Do not hesitate to visit us, you will not regret it.

Yes, Colombia is on the path of  ‘ALL FOR A NEW COUNTRY, PEACE, EQUITY, EDUCATION’

Santa Marta


Author: Jean Philip

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