Last updateFri, 15 Nov 2019 3pm

'Best Pan Am Games in history' closes in festive style

In a long speech during which a large part of the 48,000 crowd grew increasingly restless, Pan American Sports Organization President Mario Vasquez Rana thanked Guadalajara for hosting "the best games in history."

In a shorter but more animated address, Jalisco Governor Emilio Gonzalez at one point yelled, "Now we go for the Olympics."

The ceremony began with the singing of the Mexican national anthem by local pop star Ely Guerra, followed by a parade of flags from the 42 participating nations. Exuberant athletes – some wearing sombreros and wrestling masks –  then entered the stadium.

The gold medal for the marathon, which took place earlier in the day, was awarded to Brazil's Soloniel Silva.

A trio comprising Vasquez Rana, Gonzalez and Guadalajara Mayor Aristoteles Sandoval handed over the Pan American flag to Canadian Minister of Sports Bal Gosal and Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto, hosts of the 2015 games.

As an appetizer for the next games, dancers from Toronto performed a ten-minute routine reflecting Ontario's cultural diversity, while images of the Canadian city were projected on a circular screen above the stage. At the end of the segment, jazz singer Florence K sang the Canadian national anthem.

A video honoring the 8,000 volunteers for the games preceded a short ceremony in which a selection of the (mainly) young men and women who gave their time and effort during the two-week event received honorary medals from Mexican athletes.

Musical acts punctuated by fireworks provided a lively finale to the evening, which contained only a few of the glittering effects seen in the opening ceremony.

Performers included Jamaican reggae group The Wailers, Argentina's Diego Torres and Mexican pop sensation Camila.

But the crowd really came alive when Puerto Rico's Ricky Martin took the stage with a vibrant stage set that was given a huge ovation by the audience.



















































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