“We might see some of the young Para athletes from Sao Paulo 2017 competing at future Parapan American Games and Paralympic Games.”
The Coordination Commission for the Sao Paulo 2017 Youth Parapan American Games concluded its second visit to the Brazilian city on 14 December, with the presence of International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Vice-president and Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB) President Andrew Parsons, Americas Paralympic Committee (APC) President Jose Luis Campo and IPC Chief Executive Officer Xavier Gonzalez.
Some of the main topics covered were logistics, facilities and technical aspects of the sports. Plans for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and branding and communication strategies were also presented. The meeting took place at the newly built Brazilian Paralympic Centre.
"We are just three months away from the Youth Parapan American Games so the visit is essential to make sure all areas are in accordance with what we expect,” said Parsons.
“This is going to be a huge competition, with more than 2,000 people involved. It was really important that the IPC and the APC went over the planning, as we expect to deliver an edition of the Games of the highest possible level."
Gonzalez added: “We are very satisfied with the progress the organisation has made in different areas, in particular in logistics and in technical aspects of the sports. Now the focus changes to engaging with the public and finalising the preparations for the ceremonies."
Campo also expressed his satisfaction. “Sao Paulo 2017 will take place at an ideal time, with the successful Rio 2016 Paralympic Games still fresh in our memories,” he said.
“We hope to build on that success to continue developing Para sports in the continent and increase the number of youngsters involved in the Paralympic Movement in different countries.
“Colombian swimmer Carlos Serrano is a good example of the importance the Youth Parapan Ams have. After winning multiple golds at Buenos Aires 2013 he went on to seal five titles at Toronto 2015 and claim his country’s first Paralympic gold in 36 years, at Rio 2016.
“Therefore, we might see some of the young Para athletes from Sao Paulo 2017 competing at future Parapan American Games and Paralympic Games.”
The fourth Youth Parapan American Games will take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, between 20-25 March, and will feature a record 1,000 athletes, ages 12-20, from 20 countries competing in 12 sports: athletics, boccia, football 5, football 7, goalball, judo, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis.
The last edition was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in October 2013, attracting more than 600 athletes from 16 countries, who competed across 10 sports. Brazil topped the medals table and 15 countries reached the podium at least once.
Barquisimeto, Venezuela, staged the inaugural edition in 2005, with athletes from 10 countries competing, whilst a total of 14 countries attended the event in Bogota, Colombia, in 2009.