Visually impaired athletes from all over the world attracted Paralympic sports fans to their competitions, finishing several days of elite performance at the 2009 International Blind Sport Federation (IBSA) Pan American Games and IBSA World Youth and Student Championships in Colorado Springs, USA.
The two events ran at the same time, beginning on 16 July, and hosted by the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA). The Paralympic sports that were on the programme in Colorado included Athletics, Goalball, Judo and Swimming.
On 19 July, the gold medal game of the Women’s Pan American Goalball tournament saw the USA beat the Canada 2:1. In the Men’s tournament, Canada beat Argentina 9-5 to win the bronze medal. In the Junior Men’s Goalball tournament, USA edged out Canada again 5-4. The game had become unpredictable as Canada came back from zero, levelling the field of play first 2-2, 3-3, then 4-4, before a costly third time throw penalty gave USA the win.
On the previous day in Athletics, Canadian athletes showed strong performance with Noella Klawitter (B1) and guide Evan Porter winning three gold medals at her first international meet in the 100m, 400m, and 800m. Compatriot Courtney Knight won two gold medals in the shot put and discus events.
Canadian athletes were also in full force in the Judo event, managing to win four medals between three athletes. Justin Karn took the bronze medal in the 60kg class, Alexander Radoman took the bronze medal in the -90kg class, and Time Rees took the silver medal in the -100kg class and another silver medal in the open weight class.
The 2009 IBSA World Youth and Student Championships brought in blind and visually impaired athletes, ages 12-19, from all around the world. The 2009 IBSA Pan American Games had athletes of all ages coming from the Pan American region, which included countries in North, South and Central America. The Regional Games were an opportunity for athletes who are beginning the qualification process for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
More than 100 countries were invited to participate in the 2009 IBSA World Youth and Student Championships, including delegations from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America and Oceania. All nations of the Pan American region were invited to compete in the 2009 IBSA Pan American Games.
Competitions took place at the US Olympic Training Centre at Colorado College, as well as a local track and field complex.