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Santa Marta inaugurates the Bolivarian Games

(Photo: Press Office Bolivarian Games)
by Constanza Mora Pedraza, AIPS Member

SANTA MARTA, November 13, 2017 - If there was a city in Colombia that needed a hopeful show at the moment, it is Santa Marta. And the XVIII Bolivarian Games is a dream that became reality and will put the city on the international map.

This historical event began with a tribute to the sea, the Sierra Nevada, indigenous communities and Gabriel García Márquez, winner of 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature.

More than 3000 athletes from the 11 participating National Teams, paraded through the stage proudly wearing their uniforms.

Following the tour, the Mayor of Santa Marta addressed the attendees where he expressed full gratitude to those who believed in this project, that will divide the history of the city in two.

"The Bolivarian Games reinforce the brotherhood of the Bolivarian countries," said Martinez.

Also, Danilo Carrera, president of the Bolivarian Sports Organization ODEBO, praised the commitment made by the local administration and the organizing committee.

"18 months ago there was only dirt and mud here," said Carrera, which is why he congratulated the Samarians for leaving Colombia in high regard to the invited teams.

For her part, the director of Coldeportes, Clara Luz Roldán, revealed the game’s slogan "We Dream It, We Achieve It", this is a reality and it is grateful to the Ministry of Sports. "I declare officially the opening of the 2017 Bolivarian Games based in the Pearl of America".

The ceremony closed with a musical performance of Santa Marta's local Carlos Vives, who, with his energy and love for the city that characterizes him, ignited even more the emotion of all spectators. ChocQuibTown, the group from the Pacific region closed the ceremony.

The Bolivarian flame has already lit the cauldron at the football stadium and until November 25, the city will only breath Bolivarian Games.

HISTORY

The Bolivarian Games is a multi-sport event that aims to unify the South American countries that were part of the conquering force of Simón Bolívar.

The Colombian Antonio Narińo Chayne was in charge of promoting the creation of this great sporting event that would be under the command of the Bolivarian nations.

Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela are the 6 liberated countries after the colonization by Simón Bolívar and to his honor, in 1938 the first edition of the Bolivarian Games was organized in Bogotá, Colombia, these games were planned under the characteristic view of the Olympics, but its difference lies in its historical wealth and philosophical conception, however at present, the Bolivarian Sports Organization (ODBO) allowed the entry of Chile as new member while Paraguay, Guatemala, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic have participated as invited countries.

So far, 17 editions have been organized, and by vote of the Nationals Olympic Committees (NOCs) and the Bolivarian Sports Organization (ODEBO), -which is part of the Pan American Organization, a subsidiary of the International Olympic Committee-, the chosen county and city is elected.

The Bolivarian Games are held every 4 years, interval instituted since 1941 by the NOCs. This sporting event commemorates the start of the Olympic cycle in the region that ends with the Olympic Games.

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