As the sun set on Sunday, November 5, the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago de Chile drew to a thrilling close. Costa Rica emerged as one of the standout nations of the event, clinching a total of nine medals – one gold, one silver, and seven bronze. These games served as a crucial preparation phase for the upcoming Olympics in Paris.
Costa Rica showcased its prowess across a wide range of disciplines, including boxing, cycling, swimming, tennis, triathlon, synchronized swimming, among others.
The nation’s athletes demonstrated their exceptional talent and determination, securing medals in multiple events.
Andrea Vargas obtained the gold medal in the 100 meters hurdles for the second time, repeating her triumph from the 2019 Lima Games. Vargas’s remarkable feat was a testament to her dedication and skill, underlining her status as one of Costa Rica’s sports icons.
The Costa Rican athletes continued to make their mark on the final day of competitions, with Marco Moretti winning a bronze medal in the individual bowling competition. This event was particularly significant as Costa Rica managed to secure two medals in bowling when Marco and his partner Juan Rodriguez claimed third place among 12 pairs that reached the final.
Surfing was another major contributor to the nation’s medal tally, with three medals in total – two bronzes and one silver. Leilani McGonagle (shortboard), Lia Diaz (longboard), and Jenny Kalmbach (Stand Up Paddle) demonstrated their exceptional skills in the waves, bringing pride to the Costa Rican flag.
Daniela Rojas also earned a bronze medal in the 400 meters hurdles, narrowly missing out on silver. Rojas displayed tremendous talent and determination, although her path to silver was contested due to an appeal against the Panamanian competitor who ultimately claimed the top spot.
Racquetball was another success story for Costa Rica, with Andrés Acuña and Gabriel García securing a bronze in the men’s doubles, and Maricruz Ortiz accomplishing the same feat in the women’s singles.
While not all athletes secured medals, many received recognition for their exceptional performances. Notably, Andres Valverde received a distinction for his gymnastics presentation.
Valeria Cárdenas and Beatriz Padrón excelled in boxing and swimming, respectively, while Noelia Vargas showcased her endurance in the 20 km walk. In artistic gymnastics, Franciny Morales achieved recognition by placing among the top 20 competitors in the Americas.