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National Stadium with a canvas on the right with the logo of the Pan American Games Santiago 2023.
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More Than 40 UC Chile Athletes will seek glory at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games

With a week to go, the students who will compete are training for the competition that will take place in four regions of Chile: Metropolitana, Valparaíso, O'Higgins, and Biobío. Of the 41 venues, the Parque Deportivo Estadio Nacional, located in Ñuñoa, will host the largest number of sports. UC Chile President Ignacio Sánchez spoke about the event and the participation of students from our university.

Image of the official mascot of the Games, Fiu, a seven-colored bird. He is smiling and with his arms raised in the middle of a field with rugby players behind him.

photo_camera For UC Chile President Ignacio Sánchez, having students compete in this sporting event is a source of pride, as they exemplify perseverance and determination. (Photo credit: XIX Pan American Games and VII Parapan American Games Santiago 2023.)

With the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games fast approaching, Chile is preparing to host a sporting event unlike any other in the Americas. In the countdown for the competition, to be held between October 20 and November 5, excitement and anticipation are growing as preparations are in full swing. 

One of the most outstanding bits of news is the historical participation of UC Chile in the event, as at least 40 student athletes are expected to represent our country in different disciplines.

UC Chile has been a significant supporter of the country's sports development, and the designation of Chile as the host country for the 2023 Pan American Games has provided a unique opportunity for more athletes from the university to compete internationally.

For UC Chile President Ignacio Sánchez, having students compete in this sporting event is a source of pride, as they are an example of perseverance and determination.

"Having representatives at the Pan American Games is an honor. It is a great joy to be able to support our high-performance athletes. They are young men and women who set a great example of perseverance, tenacity, hard work, and great results. They are representing not only themselves and the university but also Chile in this important competition. It is probably one of the most important sporting events organized by the country in recent years," he said.

The President also appreciates the athletes' efforts and is committed to making it possible for them to perform to the best of their abilities. "We have an outstanding number of athletes. They are still qualifying, and we don't know the final number of students participating yet. However, there will be several dozens of them who will represent us at the Pan American Games. We will pay close attention to what they require to perform in the best way and will also be very attentive to their results. Their participation in the Games alone deserves all our recognition, and we hope they can perform at their best for the benefit of the country, the university and as a reward for their great effort."

Student Elías Ardiles wearing a swimsuit and a cap between blue flags, one with the "UC" logo, ready to jump into an Olympic pool. He rests his hands on his knees as he looks concetrated.
"The level of the Pan American Games is very high. I hope to make it to the final and be in the top eight," said Elías Ardiles, a freshman business management major. (Photo by: Karina Fuenzalida)

Meanwhile, Jorge Silva, director of UC Sports, highlights the role of the university in supporting athletes during the Games and the importance of working together with the organization.

"We are playing a supporting role so that everything goes smoothly. We have more than 100 pre-qualified athletes that we hope will be confirmed. We have provided training tracks for swimmers, the Sports Center so the women's handball team can train, and courts where the Modern Pentathlon Federation athletes can test their skills. We are also working on facilitating taking classes and other needs for those UC Chile athletes competing in the event."

Along these same lines, Guillermo Gajardo, head of UC Selections, emphasized the importance of this event for the institution and the country.

"This tremendous opportunity to have a greater participation and presence of athletes at the Pan American Games will also impact our students. We expect a participation of approximately 60 athletes, which doubles the previous Games. Our university has a national commitment to sports, so it is very important for us to provide all possible support to our students competing in this unprecedented major event in our country".

"Having representatives at the Pan American Games is an honor. It is a great joy to be able to support our high-performance athletes" - Ignacio Sánchez, UC Chile President.

Games' Overview

The Santiago 2023 Pan American Games will offer a wide range of sports, including 58 different disciplines, some of which will award direct qualification to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, providing a unique opportunity for athletes to prepare at a high level and qualify for next year's Olympic Games.

For UC Chile, this event represents an ideal scenario for its athletes to demonstrate their talent and dedication at the international level.

With 41 venues in the Metropolitan, Valparaíso, O'Higgins, and Biobío regions, the 2023 Pan American Games promises to be a unique and exciting experience for competitors and the public. The event will not only be a celebration of sports, but will also have a significant impact on the country, bringing high-performance sports to different communities and providing the opportunity for many people to enjoy and witness the Pan American Games live.

The heart of the Games will be the Parque Deportivo Estadio Nacional, a multidisciplinary sports complex built around the historic stadium that hosted the 1962 World Cup final. This park will house 12 venues for 31 sports and will be one of the greatest legacies that Santiago 2023 will leave behind. 

Other emblematic places in the city, such as Parque O'Higgins, Parque Metropolitano San Cristóbal, and the beaches of Viña del Mar and Pichilemu, will also be used as venues for the competitions.

With all the preparations underway and the competitors ready to give their best, the entire continent is anxiously awaiting the start of this unparalleled sports festival.

UC Chile Athletes' Thoughts

Student Sofía Casella resting one leg on a gymnastics apparatus with her arms extended to the sides and looking towards the camera. She's in a gym that says "UC" behind her.
"This tournament is significant because it generates a new sports culture, where people and children, above all, get to see new sports and become interested in them," said gymnast Sofía Casella, a P.E. and Health Education student. (Photo: UC Sports)

Being able to compete in the Pan-Americans is a huge motivation for athletes. Among the UC Chile students who will attend are athletes from various disciplines.

Elías Ardiles, swimmer and business management student who will compete in Santiago 2023, gave his thoughts about the level of the Games and the challenges he will face.

"The level of the Pan American Games is very high. I hope to make it to the final and be in the top eight. But what I really want is to lower my swim times. That would make me very happy. My preparation has gone very well, and I have trained hard," he said.

For Antonia Cubillos, a swimmer and Physical Therapy student, her greatest expectation is to make it to the final and be among the top eight in her category.

"I expect the Games to reach the finals and make it to the top 8 in the Americas. I also hope to lower my current absolute record in the 200 breaststroke. Chile will be put on the map and grow a lot in sports with this competition," she said.

According to her, the support of the university has been very relevant in balancing her life and carrying out her training and competitions.

"The support of the university has been fundamental in the process. I have been able to travel without problems and to take fewer classes to manage my academic duties with my training better," she emphasized.

Another athlete has a similar opinion: Josué Armijo. The gymnast, also a P.E. and Health Education student, has expressed his hope to make it to the finals and represent the university and the country.

"One of my expectations for these Pan American Games would be to qualify for the Jump final. I also want to do well and achieve a good position for the Chilean delegation and leave the name of UC Chile and the Chilean flag as high as possible," he said.

Similarly, just like his teammate, he is grateful for UC Chile's support, enabling him to excel in his discipline.

"They have been a fundamental support in my selection and competition process. They consistently support me by facilitating the required permissions with every teacher and for each subject, allowing me to participate in tournaments and training sessions throughout the year. I am extremely grateful to the university."

Sofía Casella, his teammate and fellow P.E. and Health Education student is also striving to advance to the final stages of the Games.

"My expectations for Santiago 2023 are to be able to finish without falling or injuring myself and to be able to qualify for the All Around final and, hopefully, some apparatus finals. This tournament is really important because it generates a new sports culture, where people and children, above all, get to see new sports and become interested in them."

Finally, she highlighted the continuous efforts made by UC Chile so that athletes can balance their training and competitions with their studies.

"I greatly value the support of UC Chile, where I have been able to combine my training schedule with my academic responsibilities," she concluded.

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