1959 Pan American Games

The 1959 Pan American Games were held in Chicago, Illinois, United States between August 28 and September 7, 1959.

III Pan American Games
Pan am 1959.jpg
Poster of the 1959 Pan American Games.
HostChicago, United States
Nations participating25
Athletes participating2,263
Events166 in 18 sports
Opening ceremonyAugust 27
Closing ceremonySeptember 7
Officially opened byMilton S. Eisenhower[1]
Main venueSoldier Field

Host city selectionEdit

One city initially submitted a bid to host the 1959 Pan American Games that was recognized by the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO), along with three cities that withdrew their bids. On March 11, 1955, at the IV Pan American Congress in Mexico City, PASO selected Cleveland unanimously to host the III Pan American Games.[2][3][4]

On April 15, 1957, Cleveland asked PASO to be relieved of their assignment as the host city. Subsequently, both Guatemala City and Rio de Janeiro informed PASO that they would not be able to host the games either. Two cities came forward as candidates host the games, Chicago and São Paulo, and on August 3, 1957, Chicago was selected over São Paulo by a vote of 13 to 6.[2][5]


Once Chicago took over the game following Cleveland's withdrawal, there were 18 months left to organize the games. The games were held on-schedule nonetheless. The games were the first Pan American Games to be held in the Northern Hemisphere's summer. The previous two editions were held in March.[5]

The GamesEdit

Alternative poster in Spanish

The games opened on August 27, 1959, in sunny 90 °F (32 °C) heat before 40,000 people in Chicago, Illinois, United States at Soldier Field.

Medal tableEdit

  *   Host nation (United States)

1  United States*1217556252
2  Argentina9221243
3  Canada6202753
4  Mexico6101531
5  Brazil66214
6  Chile52613
7  British West Indies24713
8  Cuba24511
9  Bahamas2002
10  Venezuela17715
11  Uruguay1348
12  Panama0448
13  Peru0257
14  Puerto Rico0246
15  Ecuador0112
16  Haiti0101
17  British Guiana0033
18  Guatemala0011
  Netherlands Antilles0011
Totals (19 entries)161163160484

Sports and VenuesEdit

Opening ceremonies at Soldier Field. Wrestler Mario Tovar González can be seen serving as Mexico's flag bearer.
Gymnasium at Navy Pier, site of the Gymnastics competition


  1. ^ The Spokesman-Review - Google News Archive Search
  2. ^ a b Emery, Curtis Ray (1964). The History of the Pan American Games (Dissertation). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  3. ^ "Cleveland Will Host 1959 Pan Am Games". Cedar Rapids Gazette. Mexico City, Mexico. AP. March 12, 1955. p. 5. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  4. ^ "Cleveland Designada Sede para los Juegos Panamericanos del 59" [Cleveland Designated Headquarters for the Pan American Games of 59]. El Tiempo (in Spanish). Mexico City, Mexico. UP. March 12, 1955. p. 17. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Hersh, Phil (July 19, 1987). "Chicago-Style Pan Am Games". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  6. ^ Ford, Liam T.A. Ford (October 1, 2009). Soldier Field: A Stadium and Its City. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  7. ^ a b c d Dretske, Diana (December 8, 2008). "'59 Pan Am games brought Olympic-level competition to Lake Co". Daily Herald. Archived from the original on November 10, 2014. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d e Gustkey, Earl (August 5, 1987). "PAN AM GAMES LEGACY: 1959 : It's Not Exactly Peace and Harmony". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
  9. ^ Lyke, Bill (August 29, 1959). "Drive Out to the Pan-Am Games!". Chicago Tribune. pp. B1. ProQuest 182386533.
  10. ^ "Chicago Historic Velodromes & 6-day venues". Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  11. ^ "05/09/1959 – Brasil 1 x 1 Argentina". jogosdaselecaobrasileira.wordpress.com. Archived from the original on October 6, 2017. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  12. ^ "29/08/1959 – Brasil 4 x 2 Costa Rica". jogosdaselecaobrasileira.wordpress.com. Archived from the original on October 6, 2017. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  13. ^ Pogorzelksi, Daniel; Maloof, John (2008). Portage Park. Charleston SC, Chicago IL, Portsmouth NH, San Francisco CA: Arcadia Publishing. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-7385-5229-3.
  14. ^ Lyke, Bill (August 29, 1959). "Drive Out to the Pan-Am Gamnes!". Chicago Tribune. pp. B1. ProQuest 182386533.
Preceded by III Pan American Games

Succeeded by