Chantel Malone, Thad Lettsome participate in inaugural Panam Sports Awards Gala

Lloyd Black, Secretary General, BVI Olympic Committee, Chantel Malone Lima 2019 long jump gold medalist, Thad Lettsome, Lima 2019 laser sailor, and Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC at the inaugural Panam Sports Awards Gala, Fort Lauderdale, Florida on December 13, 2019

A Virgin Islands delegation comprising two of the Territory’s sports history makers at Lima 2019, Chantel Malone and Thad Lettsome accompanied by Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee and Lloyd Black, Secretary General, BVIOC, attended the inaugural Panam Sports Awards Gala event held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on December 13, 2019.

Ms. Malone – who made history when she won the Virgin Islands’ first Panam Games medal with her gold winning leap of 6.68m in the long jump and Mr. Lettsome, the VI’s first sailor in the Games since the 1990s, joined more than 70 of the best athletes from the 41 nations of the Panam Sports family in walking the red carpet at an evening rivaling those seen in Hollywood.

Produced by Univision-TUDN and live-streamed throughout the globe by the Panam Sports Channel, ESPN Play, Claro TV and R7 of Brazil, the athletes were treated to the full gala experience.

The evening presentations included a feature on the Mondo track at the A.O. Shirley Grounds which was repaired with funds received from Panam Sports following the damage it sustained during Hurricane Irma.

“We were overwhelmed when the video clip was shown at the start of the Gala event,” said Mr. Penn. “A longer version of the video depicting the aftermath of our Virgin Islands following Hurricane Irma and the recovery efforts had been shown earlier this year at the ANOC General Assembly in Doha but this time it was broadcast live across the Americas and beyond. We felt such pride as our nation was lauded for its resilience and a global audience was able to appreciate the support we received from Panam Sports to assist with getting sports back on track.”

After a month-long public competition that sparked fierce rivalries between some of the greatest athletes of the Americas, sports fans from across the continent voted for their favorite athletes and favorite moments of the Games and awards were made accordingly.

Bringing the VI back into the spotlight, Ms. Malone was invited to announce the winner of the NextGen Female (U20) award which went to Rhythmic Gymnast, Evita Griskenas (USA).

“It was definitely an amazing experience,” commented Ms. Malone on her social media post “Thank you Panam Sports for taking the time to recognize all the accomplishments of the athletes at the games. It was awesome to be surrounded and inspired by future and past legends!”

The full list of Panam Sports Awards recipients is as follows:

Lima 2019: 3 Golds: Pommel Horse, Horizontal Bar, Team

Already a gold and silver medalist in the Team Event from Guadalajara 2011 and Toronto 2015, Francisco Barretto arrived in the Peruvian capital with dreams of individual greatness. And these dreams came true, as Francisco topped the podium in both the Pommel Horse and Horizontal Bar events. These two gold medals also helped propel Time Brasil to another gold medal in the Team event, giving Francisco Barretto three gold medals and tying him as the most decorated male athlete from Lima 2019. In recognition of these impressive feats, Francisco Barretto is honored as the Best Male Athlete at the Panam Sports Awards.

Lima 2019: Gold: 200m & New Pan American Record (22.43 sec)

Consistently one of the fastest women in the world for over a decade, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is the model of excellence and perseverance in Athletics. The Jamaican superstar and two-time Olympic Champion competed at her first Pan American Games at Lima 2019, showing off her world-class speed by setting a new Pan American Record of 22.43 seconds in the 200m. The blazing fast time broke the record that had survived for 40 years. In recognition of her incredible achievements, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is honored as the Best Female Athlete at the Panam Sports Awards.

Lima 2019: Gold

When an Olympic and NBA legend is on your team, you’ve always got a shot. Captaining Argentina’s Basketball team at his first ever Pan Am Games, Luis Scola proved to the world that Argentina’s Golden Generation is still a force to be reckoned with. From the very first game, Scola and his experienced Argentinean teammates such as Facunda Campuzzo and Gabriel Deck outmatched their competition on their way to a 4-1 record and a gold medal. In recognition of their success, Argentina’s Men’s Basketball team is honored as the Best Men’s Team at the Panam Sports Awards.

Lima 2019: Gold

Excellence has often been synonymous with the Las Leonas Hockey team from Argentina, and this reputation held true at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. After earning silver medals at each of the last two Pan Am Games, the Argentina women’s hockey team came back with a vengeance to go undefeated in six games to reclaim the gold medal. Lead by captain Julieta Jankunas, the dominance was truly spectacular as Argentina only allowed three total goals in six games while scoring a total of 47. In recognition of this unprecedented performance, Argentina’s Women’s Hockey team is honored as the Best Women’s Team at the Panam Sports Awards.

Lima 2019: Gold: Tricks

At just 17-years old, Patricio Font is already changing the sport of Waterskiing. The young star from Mexico consistently put together great runs on his way to earning the gold medal in the Tricks discipline. His victory made him the youngest gold medalist in Mexico’s history at the Pan Am Games. In recognition of this outstanding achievement and his bright future, Patricio Font is honored as the NextGen Male at the Panam Sports Awards.

Lima 2019: 4 Gold: 1 Bronze: All-Around, Ball, Hoop, Ribbon, Clubs

At just 18-years old, Evita Griskenas has proved she belongs on the world stage of gymnastics. The talented Rhythmic Gymnastics star repeatedly impressed the crowd at Lima 2019, dominating her competition on the way to winning four gold medals and one bronze, the most by any athlete at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. In recognition of these outstanding achievements and her bright future, Evita Griskenas is honored as the NextGen Female at the Panam Sports Awards.

Lima 2019: Silver

Julio Castillo gave his all in the boxing ring at Lima 2019, fighting hard to bring a medal back home to his beloved Ecuador. Although Julio lost in the gold medal bout, he showed the Americas the value of sportsmanship and showing grace in defeat. Many at the Miguel Grau Coliseum believed Castillo had defeated his Cuban opponent and booed loudly in disapproval of the judges. However, Castillo made sure the crowd respected the decision and cheered for Cuba’s Erislandy Savon who won the gold medal. In recognition of this incredible display of Excellence, Innovation, Integrity, Solidarity and Inclusion, Julio Castillo is honored with the Panam Sports Values Award at the Panam Sports Awards.

Lima 2019: Gold – BMX Race

Not only is Mariana Pajon a two-time Olympic gold medalist, six-time World Champion and two-time Pan American Games Champion, she is also committed to helping her community. Mariana founded “Pedaleando Por Un Sueño” in 2013, a non-profit entity with the intention of bringing alternatives and clear opportunities to the children and youth of Colombia to see sport as a real option in their lives. For her incredible athletic and humanitarian efforts, Mariana Pajon is honored as the Changemaker at the Panam Sports Awards.

Lima 2019: Gold: Race

Training an athlete to reach the top of the podium at the Pan American Games is one of the toughest challenges in sport, especially when it comes to Athletics. Although she had no previous training as a coach, Deysiana realized the potential that her daughters Andrea and Noelia Vargas had in Athletics. Her greatest achievement came at Lima 2019, when Andrea broke 13 seconds for the first time in the 100m Hurdles to win the gold medal. Noelia also competed well at Lima 2019, finishing 6th with a Personal Best in the 20km Race Walk. Andrea and Noelia often credit their mom for learning how to become a coach that can help them reach the highest levels of success. For her incredible story and dedication to helping her daughters succeed, Deysiana Mena is honored as the Best Coach at the Panam Sports Awards.


From competing as the youngest member of Team USA at San Juan 1979 to dominating the competition at Indianapolis 1987 and delivering gold medals to athletes at Lima 2019, the Pan American Games will always have a special place in the heart of Carl Lewis. For his dedication and passion for the Pan Am Games, Carl Lewis is honored as the Panam Sports Legend at the Panam Sports Awards.

Never in her wildest dreams did Sara Vargas think possible enjoying such a successful Parapan American Games debut. The youngest athlete at Lima 2019 was also one of the most decorated ones, leaving the Peruvian capital city with four gold and one silver medals, setting four Games records along the way. In recognition of her outstanding performance at the Parapan, Sara Vargas is honored as the Best Female Para Athlete.

Twenty years had passed until El Salvador finally returned to the top of the Parapan American Games podium. It was powerlifter Herbert Aceituno who broke the curse and became a national hero by claiming the men’s up to 65kg title with a Parapan record lift of 182kg. For making history for his country, Herbert Aceituno is recognized as the Best Male Para Athlete.

Gold: 120; Silver: 88; Bronze: 55

The biggest athlete delegation from the United States in history competed at Lima 2019, as more than 640 athletes helped Team USA top the medal standings at the Pan American Games for the 16th time in history.

From Brady Ellison setting a new World Record in Men’s Archery to Evita Griskenas winning four gold medals to become the most decorated athlete of the Games, Nathan Adrian’s triumphant comeback winning two gold and five total medals, and future WNBA #1 pick Sabrina Ionescu taking home the first 3×3 Basketball gold medal, the memorable moments are nearly too many to count.

For their undisputed and unmatched dominance, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee was recognized as the Best NOC at the first Panam Sports Awards.

Gold: 11; Silver: 7; Bronze: 21

With their nation behind them, Peru’s athletes performed at their absolute best to win more gold medals than ever before in history. Led by stars such as #TeamPanamSports Ambassador Alexandra Grande and surfing legend Piccolo Clemente, the Peruvian team did not disappoint their passionate fans. Before Lima 2019, Peru had never won more than 14 medals at any single Games in history and had won a grand total of eight golds through 18 editions.

With Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra often in attendance, Peru’s athletes stepped up to the challenge to honor their country and protect their home turf at the Pan Am Games. For their unprecedented improvement in just four years, the Peruvian Olympic Committee was recognized as the Most Improved NOC at the first Panam Sports Awards.

Gold: 1; Silver: 1; Bronze: 0

After 30 years and nine editions of the Pan American Games, the national anthem of Grenada finally rang proudly at the Pan Am Games for the first time in history at Lima 2019. The small island nation won its first ever gold medal at the most important sporting event of the Americas in the Peruvian capital, as Anderson Peters absolutely dominated the Men’s Javelin competition.

As the eight smallest country of the Panam Sports family by population with just over 100,000 people, placing 21st on the overall Medal Table is an unforgettable accomplishment that will forever be written in the sports history of the nation.

For their unprecedented success as one of the smallest nations by population at the Pan Am Games, the Grenada Olympic Committee was recognized as the Best NOC (Pop. <1M) at the first Panam Sports Awards.

Manuel Jimenez – Dominican Republic – Hoy y Nacional

In a competition where sports fans across the world cast votes to choose the best photographs of the Pan American Games through the social media accounts of Panam Sports, the winner was the outstanding professional Manuel Jimenez. The winning photograph shows the water skier Roberto Pigozzi in the Slalom discipline in an incredibly emotional scene depicting a gold medal-winning moment, the first for the Dominican Republic at Lima 2019. For this incredible scene and fan support, Manuel Jimenez receives the honor of taking the Best Photo of the Games.

Record TV

Every four years, sport fans across the Americas tune-in to watch the greatest athletes of the continent battle to be crowned the best of the best and to earn qualification to the Olympic Games. But this would not be possible without the incredible support and dedication to the Games shown by our valued media partners. As a partner of Panam Sports for more than xx years, Record TV of Brazil has ensured the successful delivery of the Pan American Games to televisions across the globe. In recognition of this incredible support, Record TV is honored as the Best Media Partner at the Panam Sports Awards.

The next edition of the Pan American Games will take place in Santiago, Chile in 2023.