MEXICO CITY (September 29, 2023) — The Pan American Flame is alight once again as top athletes from across the continent prepare to converge on Santiago, Chile, in pursuit of gold medals and glory at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.
The striking ceremony to ignite the Pan American Flame took place at the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, Mexico. Each of the prior 18 editions of the Games has featured a flame, symbolizing the enduring passion for sport in the Americas. Although the ceremony’s location has shifted from Greece to Brasilia to Mexico’s Cerro de la Estrella, it has been hosted in Teotihuacan, the heart of the ancient Aztec empire, since 1995.
The event was attended by top sports leaders from across the continent, notable athletes from Chile and Mexico, and featured performances inspired by ancestral traditions. Over 120 artists participated, along with a flag parade representing each country in the Games. ALSO READ: Ethan Katzberg and Sarah Mitton Lead Canada’s Santiago 2023 Pan American
Teotihuacan Ceremony Ushers in Final Countdown to Santiago 2023 Pan American Games
“The ceremony to light the Pan American Flame was absolutely beautiful. It signifies that the process to deliver the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games is nearly complete,” said Panam Sports President Neven Ilic. “The Flame will soon inspire the entire country of Chile to strive for greatness.”
Team Panam Sports Ambassador and Olympic Diving Medalist Alejandra Orozco, Rowing Olympic Qualifier and Team Chile captain Melita Abraham, and Pan American Games Medalist from Chile Tomas Gonzalez were also present, representing athletes from the Americas.
“Being here today at this pre-Hispanic site in my country and knowing the Flame will be transported to Chile is a magical moment for me,” said Orozco. “With the flame ignited today, I invite everyone to unite in this great festival of the Americas.”
Tonight, the Pan American Flame will be flown to Santiago on the Official Plane of the Games, provided by Latam Airlines. It will be received by Chilean President Gabriel Boric.
A ceremony is scheduled for Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Cerro Santa Lucia in Santiago, where President Ilic will officially hand over the Flame to President Boric. The Flame will then light three torches that will travel to various regions of Chile before returning to Santiago’s National Stadium on October 20.
The Teotihuacan ceremony marks not only the return of the Pan American Games but also the culmination of years of planning by the Host City and athletes. “We are proud to welcome so many countries and delegations to our country,” said Santiago 2023 President and Chilean Sports Minister, Jaime Pizarro.
For the first time ever, the Flame Lighting Ceremony was globally broadcast live on the Panam Sports Channel, marking the beginning of unprecedented coverage of Santiago 2023. The channel plans to provide more than 1,500 hours of live sport and nine simultaneous live signals daily.
Just 21 days remain until the Santiago 2023 Pan Am Games kick off, marking three weeks filled with excitement, inspiration, and anticipation as the Torch Relay lights up Chile.