Panama Olympic Committee (POC).
It was established in 1934 and its first Chairman was Roberto F. Chiari, who remained in that position until 1936. Since then, another eleven people have held the same responsibility as Mr. Chiari.
The beginning of this entity was marked by the dynamism of its management staff, shown by the fact that Panama applied for and was granted the venue for the 4 th Central American and Caribbean Sports Games held on 5-24 February 1938.
A 600 000 dollar budget was allocated by the National Government to carry on with that undertaking. As part of the necessary infrastructure, the National Stadium was built, to be called later “Juan Demóstenes Arosemena”, as a tribute to the head of state under whose administration the stadium was opened, next to the swimming pool, later called “Adán Gordón”, after the Panamanian athlete who participated in Olympic Games.
Since it was established, one of the POC's basic principles has been the observance of the Olympic Charter, dissemination of the Olympic basic principles in sports activities and physical education and sports programs in schools and universities as well as support to the creation of institutions aimed at promoting the Olympic ideals.
One of the reasons why it was established, amongst many other responsibilities, was to ensure sports purity through fair games and encourage them in every sports discipline.
It should be noted that Dr. Agustín Sossa was the first Panamanian to become a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and remained as such for 15 years (1952-1967). Virgilio de León held the same position from 1969 to 1999 and Melitón Sánchez, currently the chairman of the POC, has been a member of the IOC since 1998.
POC Chairmen in chronological order
1934 Roberto F. Chiari
1936 Luis J. Sayavedra
1945 Arcadio Aguilera O.
1950 Norberto Navarro, Engineer
1953 Gil Gonzalo Garrido, Professor
1954 Lieutenant Colonel Alejandro Remón C.
1958 Aníbal Illuecas S
1966 Virgilio De León
1970 Carlos A. Vásquez
1974 Colonel Rodrigo García R.
1979 Víctor D'Anello (Jr)
1982 to date Melitón Sánchez R.