FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., Dec. 14, 2019 – Evita Griskenas of Orland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, won the NextGen Female Athlete Award at the inaugural Pan American Sports Organization Awards ceremony, which recognized performances from last summer’s 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. She is one of nine athletes and coaches who received awards at the ceremony held Friday night in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“This is my first time doing an event like this and it’s been fascinating,” Griskenas told TeamUSA.org while walking the red carpet for the star-studded event. “I’ve been able to talk with so many different athletes, and it’s even cooler because this is the first Panam Sports Awards. To be a part of all of this is really just a huge honor.”

Team USA was named the Best National Olympic Committee. U.S. athletes won a combined 293 medals at the 2019 Pan American Games.

Griskenas won the Pan Am Games rhythmic gymnastics gold medals for the all-around, hoop, ball and ribbon, as well as the bronze for clubs, making her one of several athletes to bring home five medals. Griskenas was chosen from a total of six athletes. The other nominees were: Adriana Diaz of Puerto Rico, Katherin Nuevo of Cuba, Delfina Pignatiello of Argentina, Daniella Rosas of Peru, and Yenny Sinisterra of Colombia.

The complete list of winners for the inaugural Panam Sports Awards is available below.

  • Best Male Athlete: Francisco Barretto (Brazil)
  • Best Female Athlete: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica)
  • Best Men’s Team: Basketball (Argentina)
  • Best Women’s Team: Hockey (Argentina)
  • NextGen (U-20 Male): Patricio Font (Mexico)
  • NextGen (U-20 Female): Evita Griskenas (USA)
  • Changemaker: Mariana Pajon (Colombia)
  • Panam Sports Values: Julio Castillo (Ecuador)
  • Best Coach: Deysiana Mena (Costa Rica)
  • Best Parapan Athletes: men – Herbert Aceituno (El Salvador), powerlifting; women – Sara Vargas (Colombia), swimming
  • Pan Am Legend: Carl Lewis (USA), track and field

The Pan American Sports Organization, aka Panam Sports, is the owner of the Pan American Games and the leader of the Olympic movement throughout the American continent. Panam Sports supports and offers resources towards the development of sport throughout its 41 member nations. Panam Sports has successfully overseen 18 editions of the Pan American Games, beginning in 1951 and being held every four years since. The Lima 2019 Pan American Games set records with the most Olympic medalists (100+) and athletes (6,600+) ever in attendance, while also qualifying athletes from 21 sports to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Panam Sports received nominations for all Awards from the NOC and Sport Confederations of the Americas before utilizing the NOCs and Panam Sports Executive Board Members to create the final shortlist of candidates.