International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons has met with Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra to discuss preparations for the sixth Parapan American Games set to take place in Lima, between 23 August and 1 September 2019.
It is the first time the leader of the Paralympic Movement has visited the Government Palace in Lima. IPC CEO Xavier Gonzalez, Lima 2019 President Carlos Neuhaus and Peruvian Paralympic Committee President Lucha Villar also attended the meeting.
“With President Martin Vizcarra we spoke about the great opportunity the Games represent for the people with impairment in Lima and Peru,” Parsons said. “It will be an exciting event where people will be able to cheer for Peruvian and Americas athletes.
“It is not only a sporting opportunity, but in the case of the Parapans, an opportunity to improve inclusion and accessibility in Lima.
“We need to promote athletes and sports. People need to know Para athletes are like any other person but with a special talent. The public who attend these competitions leaves having experienced something new and always return home with a different perception of people with impairment.”
Parsons also met Peruvian Minister of Education Dante Alfaro. The two discussed the introduction into schools of the I’mPOSSIBLE education programme ahead of the Parapans. I’m POSSIBLE is a toolkit of resources created by the IPC’s development arm, the Agitos Foundation.
“The 2007 Parapan American Games and 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio were fundamental for the Brazilian Government to put people with impairment as a priority within its agenda; society helped as well.
“The presence of kids and young people was important because they are the future of the country. From a future owner of a place who builds ramps and makes accessible bathrooms or have the menu in braille, to business who hire people with impairment.
“I invite everyone to come to Lima for the Parapan American Games because the best Para athletes in Americas will be competing.”
Lima 2019 will be held from 23 August-1 September and will feature a record 1,850 athletes competing in 17 sports, two more than Toronto 2015. It will be the biggest Parapan American Games to date.