The 2018 South American Games opened on Saturday at the Felix Capriles stadium in Cochabamba, Bolivia, with a spectacular opening ceremony full of color and indigenous performances.
The event, which ended with a fireworks display, was attended by Bolivian president Evo Morales, and Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes, as well as thousands of athletes and spectators.
In his address, General Secretary of Odesur (South American Sports Organization) Camilo Perez urged the participating athletes to send out a message to the continent, through their efforts and spirit of fraternity, to build a better world through sport.
The event had kicked off with a traditional Bolivian dance performance of Caporales and the regional song of Cochabamba, which was followed by a parade of delegates from the 14 participating countries of South America.
The three-hour-long ceremony ended with the lighting of the cauldron by retired track star Jhonny Perez, who had also completed the first run carrying the torch, when it was lighted on May 7 at the ancient Andean city of Tiahuanaco.
The South American Flames has been relayed from Tiahuanaco every four years since 1978, when the first edition of the Games, then called the Southern Cross Games, was held in the Bolivian capital, La Paz.
Over 4,000 athletes from Argentina, Aruba, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela will compete across 35 sporting categories in the Games until June 9.