The first Games were held in 1938 in Bogotá, Colombia for the city's 400th anniversary. They have since been held irregularly, but every four years since 1973, with the last edition in Sucre, Bolivia in 2009. Inspired by the events of 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Alberto Nariño Cheyne was the key designer of the idea of a Games to foster unity among the Bolivarian countries through the means of sport.
Following the first Games, the Bolivarian Sports Organization was formed as a sub-organisation of the Pan American Sports Organization by six founding members from the respective countries – Jorge Rodríguez Hurtado (Bolivia), Alberto Nariño Cheyne (Colombia), Galo Plaza Lasso (Ecuador), Luis Saavedra (Panama), Alfredo Hohagen Diez Canseco (Peru) and Julio Bustamante (Venezuela).
In terms of medals, Peru was dominant in the early years of the competition but Venezuela has consistently been the most successful country since the 1960s.
A detailed history of the early editions of the Bolivarian Games between 1938 and 1989 was published in a book written (in Spanish) by José Gamarra Zorrilla, former president of the Bolivian Olympic Committee, and first president (1976-1982) of ODESUR.
Read more about this topic: Bolivarian Games
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