José Luis Campo (ARG) 1997-2005
Andrew Parsons (BRA) 2005-2009
Octavio Londoño (COL) 2009-2013
Jose Luis Campo (ARG) 2013-2017
Julie Dussliere (USA) 2018-2019
Julio César Ávila Sarria (COL) 2019-present

Message from the APC President

a man sitting at a desk smiling and being hugged by a woman
Julio César Ávila Sarria was elected APC President at the General Assembly in Lima in 2019

"It was with great pride and big sense of responsibility that I took over the position of Americas Paralympic Committee (APC) President at the General Assembly in Lima. The support that I have received from so many of our members is overwhelming. 

"The priority during my tenure will be to strengthen the relationship between the APC, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and National Paralympic Committees. I wish to contribute immensely in building a robust, developed and inclusive Americas.

"I want to congratulate Ileana Rodriguez as well for being re-elected as APC Athlete Representative. I have no doubts in her ability and I am confident that she will continue fighting for the athletes’ rights and ensure that the decisions that we take here are for their welfare.

"Just over a month ago, we made a gigantic step forward as a region by organising the biggest and best Parapan American Games ever in Lima. My congratulations go to the Organising Committee and the National Paralympic Association of Peru, led by Lucha Villar.

"It was highly pleasant to see how an entire city embraced this competition and turned out massively to each of the venues to support the best Para athletes in the Americas. More than 170,000 fans attended, breaking the ticket-sales record for a Parapan Am Games!

"It was exciting to celebrate together with them all the historical five golds, three silvers and seven bronze that Peru won.

"A total of 21 out of 30 countries sealed at least one medal, congratulations to them all!

"It was a warm and festive atmosphere in Lima; we lived a truly unique experience. The performances delivered by these fabulous Para athletes raised awareness of disability, helping to continue building more inclusive societies across Peru and the continent.

"The Parapan American Games are fundamental in making accessibility a priority in the agenda of local and national governments.

"Lima 2019 will be a turning point in the history of the Paralympic Movement in the continent, with more people, more media and more sponsors getting involved.

"The bar has been set high; but this should motivate Chile even more ahead of the Santiago 2023 Parapan American Games.

"Chile at Lima 2019 had their best performance ever at a Parapan, credit to the arduous and persistent work that the National Paralympic Committee and its President Ricardo Elizalde have been putting in.

"This is a sign that Chilean Para sport has reached a level of excellence; we expect even more victories from them all in four years-time. Anyhow, there is still much work to do until Santiago 2023 kicks off. But our expectations could not be higher.

"I want to thank the Agitos Foundation as well. A total of 110 athletes from 21 countries who competed at Lima 2019 were trained and supported by it; they won 66 medals at the Parapan and left a spectacular legacy for the whole region.

"Thank you very much to all our members for their hard work they put in to build a prosperous Americas. You can count on the APC to continue this strengthening path; we are here to assist each of you."

Julio César Ávila Sarria, APC President

José Luis Campo Award

The APC annually honours the best athlete for her or his outstanding sporting achievements throughout the previous 12 months.

A number of standout athletes are nominated by their National Paralympic Committees, with the APC voting on the final shortlist. The Athlete of the Year is then decided by public vote on over two weeks.

Mexican powerlifter Jose de Jesus Castillo Castillo was the winner of the first two editions in 2017 and 2018, with dozens of thousands of people from all across the Americas participating.

The award was named after the APC Founding President, pioneer and driving force behind the development of the Paralympic Movement in the Americas for 20 years.

Jose Luis Campo

A huge champion and advocate of athletes with high support needs, Campo during his first term as APC President oversaw the organisation of the inaugural Parapan American Games in Mexico City in 1999. 

Campo served another term until 2005 working hard to establish and develop National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) in the region. 

In 2003, the Parapan American Games were staged in his home city Mar del Plata. Campo also paved the way for the Games to be held in Rio in 2007, in the same city as the Pan American Games.

In order to give young athletes more opportunities in the region, he helped create the Youth Parapan American Games. The first edition was held in 2005 in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, involving athletes from 10 countries. He was elected President once again in 2013. 

Campo was serving his fourth term following re-election in 2017 when he passed away in Mar del Plata after suffering a suspected heart attack while participating in a fundraising walk/run event to raise funds to organisations fighting children’s cancer.

Away from the APC, Campo served on the IPC Executive Committee from 1997 to 2005 and was an IPC Governing Board member between 2009 and 2013. He was part of the Rio 2016 IOC Co-ordination Commission overseeing Latin America’s first Paralympic Games, an event that saw NPCs from the Americas win more medals than ever before.

Campo was a physical education teacher for youngsters with an impairment by profession.

The Argentinian will always be remembered by the Paralympic Movement as a cheerful person, a man passionate about the Movement, an advocate for the rights of people with impairment and a good friend.


2017: José de Jesús Castillo Castillo (MEX), powerlifting

2018: José de Jesús Castillo Castillo (MEX), powerlifting