“The Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games Organizing Committee is truly honored to welcome you, athletes who are role models in our societies.”
With just two days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico more flag ceremonies took place on Thursday (10 November) welcoming athletes from five countries to the village.
After three of the biggest nations in terms of participants saw their flags raised yesterday, Thursday was the turn of the smaller nations including the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama.
El Salvador has 49 athletes in Guadalajara for the Parapans, and in a joint ceremony with Panama, who has just two athletes, Village Mayor Nick Van Der Kaaij wished them success in all of their competitions.
“The Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games Organizing Committee is truly honored to welcome you, athletes who are role models in our societies,” expressed the Mayor.
El Salvador Chef de Mission, Julio Meza, said that his country is honoured to participate in these Games where Salvadoran athletes will put forth their best effort.
“We appreciate Guadalajara’s hospitality. We came here to give it our best and to enjoy this fiesta,” he said.
Panama is one of the smallest delegations with just five people, two of them athletes. The delegation assured that although the team is small, quality is nevertheless very high. Chef de Mission Ricardo Mazza said he feels privileged to represent Panama’s athletes in these Games.
“We have come here to give our hearts in representation of our country. We want to bring honour to our country and to our continent,” said Mazza.
All delegations were presented with a welcome gift: a Huichol art decorated guitar donated by the Hermes Music Foundation. A total of 25 of these guitars will be presented as gifts during the course of the Games.
The 2011 Parapan American Games open this Saturday and will involve around 1,500 athletes from 23 countries competing in 13 sports.