Just as with the opening ceremony on July 26, the closing ceremony of the Lima 2019 PanAmerican Games ended in spectacular fashion, with the flame being snuffed out and a dazzling array of fireworks lighting up the night sky.
St. Kitts and Nevis, along with the forty one other countries that participated in the Games, paraded across the stadium, basking in the praises of the over fifty thousand in attendance.
The entire stadium seemed to share in the sentiments of PanAm Sports president Nevin Ilic when he said it was the “best Pan American Games in history.”
The culminating celebration was an ode to revered Peruvian culture but it was also a fitting salute to the almost 7000 athletes who took to the PanAm Games stage in three weeks of competition.
Many records were broken- Shelly Fraser Pryce broke a 40 year mark in the 200m- and history was made- the British Virgin Islands won gold in the female long jump, their first ever PanAm Games medal. Aruba also won its first medal- a gold in sailing.
It was a Games where social issues were also brought to the fore as two Amercian athletes- one male and one female- sought to shine the international spotlight on racism, gun control and mistreatment of immigrants.
Many believe that the US$1.2 billion price tag for the Games was justifiable Peru continues to bask in its success.
Ultimately, the USA led the medal count at the end of the Games with a whopping 120 gold medals and a 293 total tally.
Brazil placed second with 55 golds and 171 in all, while Mexico was third on the table with 37 gold medals and 136 medals in total.
Canada and Cuba were fourth and fifth respectively, with 35 and 33 gold medals.
Jamaica led the English speaking Caribbean with 6 gold medals and 19 total medals.