The impressive results of first-time athletes was the highlight of the closing press conference of the São Paulo 2017 Youth Parapan American Games this Friday. The competition’s Organizing Committee celebrated the numbers achieved and the significance of the event, held at the Brazilian Paralympic Training Centre.
The press conference was given by the president of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB), Andrew Parsons, as well as José Luis Campo, president of the Americas Paralympic Committee (APC) and Edilson “Tubiba” Alves da Rocha, the technical director of the CPB and director of the Local Organizing Committee. The trio was accompanied by the athletes Gabriel Nascimento (swimming), from Brazil, and Lucía Montenegro (atletiCs), from Argentina.
“I thank the Americas Paralympic Committee for trusting in Brazil, as the Local Organizing Committee, with such an important mission. It was an honor to have gathered the best of the Americas at the Brazilian Paralympic Centre, this legacy or the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. It is fundamental that a legacy such as this serves as the first stage for many young athletes in Paralympic sport”, said Andrew Parsons.
“Here we were able to show a new way, the result of organization, and that’s why I must deeply thank Brazil, who have always collaborated with the Americas region. We congratulate the Organizing Committee for all their work and the attention given to all areas”, added Jose Luis Campo.
From a technical point of view, Tubiba highlighted the number of people involved in the organization of an event of this size. The São Paulo 2017 Youth Parapan received more than 800 athletes, aged between 13 and 21, from 19 countries, across 12 different sports.
“Fortunately, with a great team, we hosted a very good edition of the Parapan. There were 66 people working in the LOC (Local Organizing Committee), 180 volunteers, and it is important to stress the great job we did in bringing students to the Training Centre. We also had 12 technical delegates, 38 international classification officials of several sports and 98 international referees as well as 140 Brazilian referees. It was a challenge, but I can tell you that the Games were fantastic”, he affirmed.
Two of the standout performers of the competition also spoke at the press conference. Brazil’s Gabriel Nascimento, class S11 swimmer (for visually impaired athletes) and Argentina’s Lucia Montenegro, the class T54 track athlete, shared their experiences from the last week.
“I was a bit afraid at first, but I started to train here at the Paralympic Centre and I developed a bit more resistance. I was really happy with my results”, said Gabriel, who won three gold medals.
“I want to thank my parents, who are always by my side and make me feel protected while I am competing”, said Lucia who, in turn, won two gold medals.
The Closing Ceremony of the São Paulo 2017 Youth Parapan American Games takes place this Saturday, March 25, at 6pm, at the Anhembi Events Center.
Buenos Aires, Argentina, hosted the last edition of the Games in October 2013. That event brought together 631 athletes from 16 countries to compete in ten sports. Brazil topped the overall medals table of the 2013 Youth Parapan with a total of 209, of which 102 were gold medals. The first edition of the Youth Parapan took place in 2005 in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, and included athletes from ten countries. Fourteen nations took part in the 2009 edition, in Bogotá, Colombia.