As the biggest winner at the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico with 197 medals (81 gold, 61 silver and 55 bronze), the Brazilian delegation was welcomed back to its homeland on Thursday (24 November) by the nation’s president, Dilma Rousseff.
At a ceremony held in the nation’s capital city of Brasilia, Rousseff praised the 222 athletes who represented the nation in Guadalajara, and particularly swimmer Daniel Dias, who was responsible for 11 of Brazil’s gold medals.
“I would like to thank Daniel Dias, but also to each of you who displayed braveness while competing,” Rousseff told them. “You are all the proof that a person with a disability can overpass its limits and Brazil is very proud of you.”
While visiting Brazil for meetings with Rio 2016 Organizing Committee, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president Sir Philip Craven attended the ceremony.
“I would like to congratulate Mrs. Rousseff for the support Brazil’s been giving to Paralympic sports,” Craven said. “The country’s been displaying noticeable improvements at every competition and is expected to reach an even better level when the Games arise here in 2016.”