After missing the 2014 season, Nicaraguan powerlifter Fernando Acevedo made a successful return with a silver medal at April’s IPC Powerlifting Open Americas Championship in Mexico. He is now hoping he can go one step further at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games.
Competing in Sunday’s (9 August) men’s up to 72kg class event, the 36-year-old knows he will have to beat Colombia’s Americas record holder Jainer Cantillo if he is to stand any chance of landing his country’s first ever Parapan American Games gold medal.
However, he feels confident and has sets his sights on gold at the Mississauga Sports Centre.
“I am so excited and prepared for my first Parapan American Games. I truly believe I can win Nicaragua’s first medal at this event. I hope this will happen,” he said.
Besides Cantillo, Acevedo will face Brazil’s Rafael Vasolin, Chile’s Sebastian Castro Rajdl, Colombia’s Javier Montenegro Cantillo and the Mexican duo of Jorge Pacheco García and Rafael Sedano Garcia in Sunday’s event.
“This is a high level event and everyone can climb into any step of the podium.
“I needed to train very hard in order to be here. But my country, my family and my friends support motivated me in order to achieve qualifying,” said Acevedo who lists his son Fernando, daughter Rebecca and wife Gisele as his biggest inspirations.
“When I am lifting the weight, I think of them and I gain even more strength,” he assures,” he admitted.
“It is very rewarding to go back to Nicaragua and be told that I inspire people to do the best in their activities.”
Acevedo is also a graphic designer; he divides his time between his job and practices and his “biggest dream” is to qualify for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
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