During the Olympic Congress, which coincided with the celebration of the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, France, where the International Olympic Committee members from Cuba, Guatemala and Mexico proposed the establishment of regional games which involve the countries of Central America. These games came true two years later when Mexico City hosted the first Central American Games.

Latin American delegations proposed the regional games held throughout the Americas. This proposal finally got to meet in Buenos Aires, for the first time, the Pan American Sports Congress in August 1940. Congress chose Buenos Aires as the host of the first Pan American Games in 1942 but World War II forced the postponement of such games. 

The first Pan American Games were inaugurated in Buenos Aires on February 25, 1951. More than 2,500 athletes from 22 countries.