2021 will mark the launch of the new Junior Pan American Games. Intended as a sibling event for the Pan American Games, which is for the nations of the western hemisphere, the debut edition will run from November 25-December 5, 2021 in Cali, Colombia. Specifically, swimming will be held from November 25-30.
The event is generally designed for ages up to 22, though different sports have different age limits. For example, artistic swimming is for athletes aged 15 to 19 as of December 31, 2021. Pool swimming is for athletes born in the years 1999-2006 (aged 15 to 22 as of December 31, 2021). Diving is for athletes born 2002 through 2007, who will be 14 to 19 years old as of December 31, 2021
The inaugural version of the event will feature an ambitious 39-sport schedule that includes three aquatic disciplines: swimming, diving, and artistic swimming (synchronized swimming). Also included on the schedule are two multi-sport disciplines that include swimming: triathlon and modern pentathlon.
The initial psych sheets and team rosters for the 2021 swimming events have been released, featuring 262 athletes from 33 nations.
PanAm Sports, which hosts the meet, recognizes 41 nations (or sub-national governing bodies) among its membership, meaning that 9 nations aren’t participating in the first edition. Among the nations not participating are the region’s most successful swimming nations: the United States and Canada.
The two countries are sending athletes, just not in swimming. Swimming has an increasingly-crowded competition calendar around the world, and swimming organizations from the top swimming nations have often been hesitant to immediately endorse new junior competitions, as was seen in early Junior World Championships and Youth Olympic Games competition.
The US will be represented by delegations from Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands, which are politically a part of the United States, but have their own sporting federations.
Brazil (25), Colombia (25), and Mexico (26) are sending the biggest delegations of swimmers.
The competitions will be hosted in the Hernando Botero O’Byrne swimming pools, which were originally built for the 6th edition of the senior Pan American Games in 1971: an outdoor competition venue.