Panam Sports secretary general Ivar Sisniega has claimed that host cities are lining up to bid for the 2025 Junior Pan American Games after a successful first week of the inaugural event here in Cali.
The Mexican official highlighted how the Junior Pan American Games can allow for new hosts to emerge, with the event's smaller scale compared to Panam Sports' marquee Pan American Games opening up new possibilities across the region.
"A big challenge is how do you organise these Junior Games at a much lesser cost compared to at a normal Games so you can get more countries to organise it and not just 10 or 12 big ones from the 41 that we have," Sisniega told insidethegames.
"That is something that time will tell but right now we already have interest from some bidders for 2025.
"Still the bigger countries but a secondary city, not the main city, so it is going to give new cities and new countries a chance to bid for the Games which is also important for our development."
Sisniega wants the Games to offer a link for athletes between junior and senior competition and eliminate the possibility of them falling through the cracks, not receiving necessary support.
"Cali is an experiment," said Sisniega.
"It's the first edition we're doing.
"Our discussion group, and especially our President Neven Ilic, really felt that there was this missing link in the development of athletes.
"There are a lot of events for youth athletes, up to 18, but then they become older and start to become seniors and they get lost in the middle.
"There's a gap between ages 18 and 23 where they're not the best older athletes in many cases but they are too old to be youth athletes and they get lost.
"They don’t get support from their National Olympic Committee or from the Government
"This is an attempt to make a bridge for the athletes to allow them to continue to grow and develop."
The Junior Pan American Games was specifically designed to create a pathway for athletes.
Gold medallists at Cali 2021 qualify directly to the 2023 Pan American Games in Chilean capital Santiago.
Organisers intend to make Santiago 2023 a qualifying event for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
"We're getting a lot of feedback from athletes, from coaches, from the countries and from the confederations especially who say, 'Wow, my athletes are really motivated'," added Sisniega.
"Also, because they know that the winners here will get a place in Santiago.
"I've heard some athletes say here that 'What is most important for me is that I have won and now I am going to be competing in Santiago'.
"So, we are building this bridge from here to Santiago to hopefully Paris and beyond."