Pan American Sports Organisation
The Pan American Sports Organization (PASO/ODEPA), is a regional international organization recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC).PASO is domiciled and registered in Mexico as a non-profit Civil Association and functions as the Continental Association of the Americas(North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean) representing the 41 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of the Americas.
Following earlier attempts by NOCs of the Americas to establish a Pan-American Sports Committee, PASO was established by the Americas delegates at the2nd Pan American Sports Congressheld on 8th of August, 1948 in Londonon the occasion of the Olympic Games. The organization wasrecognized by the IOC and had as its principal objectives the celebration and conduct of the Pan American Games and the development and protection of Sports, as well as the Olympic Movement in the Americas, through its member NOCs.The 1st Pan-American Games were held in Buenos Aires, Argentina from February 25 to March 9, 1951. The Games are held every four years and have been expanded to include the Parapan American Games for Paralympic athletes.
The first President of PASO was Avery Brundage of the United States, who took office from the establishment of the Pan American Sports Congress in 1940 and served as President of PASO until 1951. He was also the President of the IOC from 1952 to 1972. Other Presidents since 1951 have included José de Jesús Clark Flores of Mexico (1951–1955 and 1959-1971), Doug Roby of the United States (1955-1959), Sylvio de Magalhaes Padilha of Brazil (acting President following the death of José de Jesús Clark Flores in 1971), José Beracasa of Venezuela (1971-1975) Mario Vázquez Raña of Mexico (1975-2015), Ivar Sisniega of Mexico (Acting President following the death ofMario Vázquez Rañaof in 2015) and Julio Maglione of Uruguay who was elected in 2015 to complete the term of Mario Vázquez Raña, which ends in 2016.
PASO is now at a crossroads after the death in 2015 of its most notable and longest serving President, Mario Vázquez Raña. During his tenure, PASO staged many successful Pan American and Parapan Games, and has become a strong and well financed Continental Association. The PASO Executive Committee and newly elected President have indicated that new measures designed to modernize PASO and revamp its Statutes will be presented to the General Assembly of PASO after the Pan American and Parapan Games in Toronto in July/August 2015, and a new PASO President will be elected in 2016.