A record 20 countries will participate in the 2017 Youth Parapan American Games, to be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from 20-25 March, four more than in Buenos Aires 2013.
Argentina, Aruba, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Suriname, USA and Venezuela will send athletes to compete in the Brazilian city.
“The fact that an increasing number of countries are competing in the Youth Parapans is further proof that the Americas region keeps enjoying a constant growth,” said Jose Luis Campo, Americas Paralympic Committee President.
“Sao Paulo 2017 will help continue raising awareness of Para sports across Brazil and the continent and build on the highly-successful Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. We are proud to say that the outstanding Brazilian Paralympic Centre, where the competition will take place in March, is a major structural legacy from Latin America’s first Paralympics.
“Since the first edition in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, in 2005, the Youth Parapans have been the platform from which many young athletes have launched their sporting careers, with many of them later reaching the Paralympics. Colombia’s Rio 2016 swimming champion Carlos Serrano is one such example for youngsters to aspire to.
“If we continue strengthening the grassroots in each country with the Youth Parapans, we can expect to see many more Paralympic champions from the Americas in the future.”
Sao Paulo 2017 will also feature a record number of over 800 athletes, aged 12-20 years old, competing across a record 12 sports, two more than at Buenos Aires 2013: athletics, boccia, football 5, football 7, goalball, judo, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis.
The last edition of the Youth Parapan Ams in 2013 attracted more than 600 athletes from 16 countries, who competed across 10 sports. Brazil topped the medal table and 15 countries reached the podium at least once.
Barquisimeto, Venezuela, staged the inaugural edition in 2005, with athletes from 10 countries competing, whilst a total of 14 countries attended the event in Bogota, Colombia, in 2009.