As we approach the Americas Paralympic Committee’s (APC) 20th anniversary on 1 August, we continue counting down its best moments in history.
Only two years after the APC was formed, the dream of having a continental event became a reality, with the first Parapan American Games being held in Mexico City, in November 1999.
From then on, the main regional competition has systematically increased in size and number of athletes and participant countries.
For that reason, Mexico City 1999 enters at No.17 at the APC Top 20 Moments in history.
“Despite all the difficulties in those early times, we managed to successfully deliver those first Parapan American Games with little resources and making a big effort,” said APC President Jose Luis Campo.
A total of 1,000 athletes from 18 countries competed across four sports: athletics, swimming, table tennis and wheelchair basketball.
Gold medal-winners at Mexico 1999 also secured a place at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games. The Parapans have been held every four years since.
In 2003, the Argentinian coastal city of Mar del Plata staged the second edition, with 1,500 athletes from 28 countries competing across nine sports: athletics, boccia, cycling, equestrian, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair fencing and wheelchair tennis.