The South American Games (a.k.a. ODESUR Games; Spanish: Juegos Sudamericanos; Portuguese: Jogos Sul-Americanos), formerly the Southern Cross Games (Spanish: Juegos Cruz del Sur) is a regional multi-sport event held between nations from South America, organized by the South American Sports Organization (Organización Deportiva Sudamericana, ODESUR).
The first Games were held in 1978 in La Paz, Bolivia. They have since been held every four years, with the most recent edition in 2014 in Santiago, Chile. The next games will be held in 2018 in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The Games have had an equivalent to the Olympic Flame since their inception: the South American Flame, which is relayed from Tiahuanaco, Bolivia, to the host city.
For the XI edition in 2018 there were two bids: Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Barquisimeto, Venezuela, with the final hosting decision in favour of Cochabamba in 2011. Starting with the 2014 edition, the Para-South American Games are held for South American Paralympic athletes. Just like the Olympic Games, the host city for the South American Games is also the host for Para-South American Games.
The detailed history of the South American Games together with an extensive list of medal winners was published in a book written (in Spanish) by Argentinian journalist Ernesto Rodríguez III with support of the Comité Olímpico Argentino under the auspices of the Ministerio de Educación de la Nación in collaboration with the Secretaría de Deporte de la Nación.
The total medal count for all the Games until 2014 is tabulated below. This table is sorted by the number of gold medals earned by each country. The number of silver medals is taken into consideration next, and then the number of bronze medals.
Disciplines from the same sport are grouped under the same color:
Aquatics – Cycling – Football – Gymnastics – Roller sports – Volleyball