International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) President Rafael Santonja has said that the inclusion of bodybuilding on the Lima 2019 programme is an "honour", with the sport set to make its Pan American Games debut here tomorrow.
Action will place at Coliseo Mariscal Caceres for one day, with 32 athletes expected to feature.
Competition will be held in classic bodybuilding and women's fitness.
Santonja told insidethegames of the pride he felt in the days before bodybuilding's first appearance at the Games.
“Bodybuilding is a sport and it is a lifestyle," he said.
“For us to be participating in regional games, and in the case of the Americas, the prestigious Pan American Games, it is so important.
“To be in the Pan American Games is an honour.
“It is helping our National Federations and our athletes to be inspired by the Olympic principles, and is also inspiring our legion of followers.
"It is an honour for athletes to get a medal here."
Despite being included on the Lima 2019 programme, bodybuilding was omitted from the initial programme for Santiago 2023.
Santonja was still confident that his sport could feature at the next edition of the Pan American Games, however.
“We are determined to be a part of as many games as possible," he said.
"The programme in Santiago is still open and of course it is something that is very important to us.
"We are sure we are going to do an excellent performance here.
"Then it is something that will be treated with the upmost care and respect for all the parties involved."
The IFBB also have their sights set on other continental games.
"We are going to be in the Asian Beach Games and the Asian Indoor Games," Santonja said.
"We have a great relationship with and are greatly supported by the Olympic Council of Asia.
"We are also progressing in the areas where our Federation needs to improve.
"This is the case in Africa, where we have the challenge of helping our National Federations arrive at the highest level.
"Our action is global and our target is the regional games," he continued.
"They are a great opportunity for our best athletes and it’s a source of pride for different nations.
"They are also a great tool to help us implement stronger operations in our National Federations."
Santonja was present at the Panam Sports General Assembly before Lima 2019 begun, meeting with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.
He had also had a discussion with Panam Sports President Neven Ilic, alongside IFBB special advisor Santiago Estrada.
Following this, he met with IOC Executive Board member Nicole Hoevertsz and Brazilian Olympic Committee President Paulo Wanderley Teixeira.