The 2011 Pan American Games wrapped up Sunday in a vibrant closing ceremony that embraced the Mexican culture. The ceremony also included the passing of the flag to Toronto, which will host the games in 2015.
From Oct. 14-30 over 6,000 athletes competed in Guadalajara, Mexico at the world's second largest multi-sport event after the Olympics.The event was in its 16th reincarnation, taking place every four years since 1951.
For the 14th time, the United States won the games with 236 overall medals, 92 of which were gold. Following the United States was Cuba with 136 overall medals and 58 gold. Brazil, Mexico, and Canada closely trailed Cuba. Many of the athletes use the games as a place to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics, set to be held in London.
Over 45,000 attended the closing ceremony Sunday, where Jalisco district Governor Emilio Gonzalez Marquez passed the Pan American flag to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Canada will host the games for the third time, although this is the first time for Toronto. The games were previously held in Winnipeg in 1967 and 1999.
Popular jazz singer Florence K performed the Canadian national anthem as images of monarch butterflies were projected. Monarch butterflies migrate each year from Mexico to Canada, a symbol of the games movement.
Other performances included Mexican music group Camila with American Colbie Caillat and The Wailers, a reggae band that used to perform back up for Bob Marley. Puerto Rican pop artist Ricky Martin closed the ceremony with hits from his latest CD M.A.S: Musica + Alma +Sexo and past hits, like Livin' La Vida Loca.