Team USA Arrives in Santiago for the 2023 Pan American Games
SANTIAGO, Chile - Team USA made the long journey to Chile on Sunday night alongside fellow athletes and staff members from multiple sports participating in the 2023 Pan American Games. The squad arrived in Santiago early Monday morning in preparation for the international, multi-sport event which kicks off weightlifting competition on October 21.
The 2023 Pan American Games is the 19th edition of the event and boasts nearly 7000 athletes from 40 countries and the Independent Athlete Team competing across 60 sports and disciplines in Santiago. For the first time in the event’s history, the competition will be broadcast throughout the world on the Panam Sports Channel.
On Tuesday, the team held their first workout in Santiago and got the chance to see their competition venue, Gimnasio Chimkowe, which will also play host to breaking competition during the Pan American Games.
After checking out the stage and platform, the athletes trained alongside the team from Canada in the venue warm-up area and got a feel for the location they will be competing in.
Morgan McCullogh (92 kg/Knoxville, Tenn.) will compete in his first senior international meet when he lifts on Wednesday, and he enjoyed the chance to train in the Pan American Games venue. “The venue is awesome. I really like that we were able to train in the actual warm-up area and just to get used to it,” he said. “It felt great. It’s the first day so I’m looking forward to the rest of the week.”
2021 World Champion Meredith Alwine (71 kg/Altamonte Springs, Fla.) also appreciated the opportunity to visit the competition venue. “It was super cool to get into the venue and see the warm-up area and the platform and everything. The equipment is super nice, the platforms are really nice and it’s always a good time to train with the other countries,” said Alwine.
As the Pan American Games is a multi-sport event, the athlete village provides a unique atmosphere that most of the athletes haven’t experienced previously. Three-time Pan American championships participant Taylor Wilkins (59 kg/Sebastian, Fla.) is soaking in her first Pan American Games and the fun of the village. “It’s a really cool experience, just seeing a whole bunch of different athletes walking around and trying to figure out what each one plays or participates in is very cool. You can see all the work that has been put into the village, the decoration, the Santiago signs. It’s a really cool experience,” she said.
2019 Pan American Games participant Travis Cooper (73 kg/Saunderstown, R.I.) is the lone returning athlete on the current roster, and he understands the importance of representing his country in this event. “It’s amazing. The Pan Am Games is a lot of fun. It’s a multi-sport event and we are part of Team USA, not just USA Weightlifting, but Team USA, all of the sports,” he said.
The Pan American Games Opening Ceremony will take place on Friday, October 20, and weightlifting competition will run October 21-24. Watch all of the action live on the Panam Sports Channel.