“At the world championship I was a bit nervous and I made some bad jumps. Now I am gradually feeling more at ease so I can be fully prepared for Rio 2016.”
Brazil has kicked off its participation in the Youth Parapan American Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina with 136 athletes competing across all 10 sports in the programme.
Although athletes must be under the age of 21, Brazil’s team already boasts numerous world champions and medallists from major international competitions.
Lorena Spoladore, long jump F11 world champion from the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France, is one of Brazil’s hopefuls for a podium finish in Buenos Aires. Even after becoming world champion, Spoladore notes the importance of competing in as many competitions as possible in preparation for Rio 2016.
“At the world championship I was a bit nervous and I made some bad jumps.
“Now I am gradually feeling more at ease so I can be fully prepared for Rio 2016,” Spoladore said.
In addition to Spoladore, Brazil’s team features five more recent world champions: Veronica Hipolito, world champion in the 200m T38 from Lyon; Lucas Tavares, gold medalist in powerlifting at the World Dwarf Games, in East Lansing, USA; Mateus Evangelista, gold in the long jump at the IWAS World Games, in Stadskanaal, the Netherlands; Andrey Garbe, swimming gold medallist, also in Stadskanaal; and Luiza Oliano, gold medal in judo at the IBSA Youth World Games.
Swimmer Talisson Glock, winner of two silver medals in the S6 class at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal, Canada, is another athlete with outstanding medal potential in the capital of Argentina. According to Brazil’s Paralympic swimming coordinator, Murilo Barreto, Glock still has great potential to evolve aged 18.
“He has not fully developed yet and can still gain significantly more physical strength,” explains Barreto, justifying Brazil’s confidence in Glock.
Previous Youth Parapan American Games have seen major Brazilian names emerge, such as Alan Fonteles Oliveira and Jonathan Santos. They first represented Brazil at the 2009 Youth Parapan American Games in Bogotá, with recent victories in major competitions around the world including London 2012 and at Lyon 2013.
The full list of sports on the programme for Buenos Aires 2013 is: athletics, wheelchair basketball, boccia, 7-a-side football, goalball, powerlifting, judo, swimming, table tennis and wheelchair tennis.