South America Kicks Off Two Weeks of Competition

Argentine President Alberto Fernández poses with the Argentine delegation of the 2022 South American Games. PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The 2022 South American Games are currently underway in Asunción, Paraguay. Fifteen countries and thousands of athletes are competing in 53 different events this month. Some of the sports included in this two-week-long multi-sport event are soccer, basketball, volleyball, field hockey, baseball, rugby union, tennis, golf, cricket, polo, and more.  

Argentina has been crowned as the top medalling nation for seven out of the 12 South American Games, but is in fourth place so far this year. Brazil has led the games this year with a total of 178 medals but Colombia is close behind with 145. Although the total medals are a close race, Brazil gaps the rest of the competition when it comes to winning gold medals. Brazil’s 80 gold medals nearly doubles second-place Columbia’s total of 41.  

The Brazilian delegation has been successful in the swimming events, winning 34 gold medals in 40 swimming events. Brazil also won both available gold medals in artistic swimming. Second-place Columbia has had most of their success in speed skating. They have won eight out of 10 possible gold medals in the sport, failing to take first place in only the female 1,000m sprint and the male 200m one-versus-one event. Colombia has also dominated diving, winning seven out of eight competitions, and losing only the female one-meter trampoline dive. The most notable diving performance came from Colombia’s Viviana Bermudez, who won gold in three out of the four events she competed in.  

Chile is in third place so far in the games, having won 71 medals, of which 22 are gold. They performed best in rowing, where Chile had a podium finish in each of the 11 events and won six of them. Chile was also successful in water skiing, reaching the podium in every competition and also winning first place in four out of the nine events. 

The first South American Games took place in 1978 in La Paz, Bolivia where 480 athletes representing seven countries competed in only 16 sports. This is the 12th year of the games, which occur every four years. The games occur every four years, marking this year’s event as the 12th to occur.  

Although dozens of events have been held, there is still a lot left to look out for in the South American Games. Popular events like handball and basketball are still underway and nearly half of the games are still being played until the final day on Oct. 15. 


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