Mexico seek to renew their status as regional power in Para sports with a delegation made up of over 90 athletes at the fourth Youth Parapan American Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from 20-25 March.
The North American country finished second in the medals table at the last edition of the Youth Parapans in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2013. They claimed 155 medals overall, including 58 golds, 55 silvers and 42 bronzes.
One of Mexico’s biggest medals hopes will be swimmer Valeria Lopez, who won one gold, three silvers and one bronze at Buenos Aires 2013. The 17-year-old went on to claim gold in the women’s 400m freestyle S6 at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games.
One year later, she made her Paralympic debut in Rio.
Mexico will have representatives in nine sports: athletics, boccia, football 5, goalball, judo, powerlifting, swimming, table tennis and wheelchair basketball.
Paralympic and Parapan American Games
Mexico is one of the Latin American countries with longest tradition in Para sports, having made their Paralympic debut at Toronto 1976. They have competed at every Games since, winning 97 golds, 90 silvers and 102 bronzes overall.
At Rio 2016, the Mexican delegation claimed four golds, two silvers and nine bronzes. One year before, they shined at the Parapan American Games in Toronto, Canada, winning 38 golds, 36 silvers and 39 bronzes.
Over 800 athletes, aged 12-20 years old, from 20 countries will compete in Sao Paulo, with 12 sports being contested: athletics, boccia, football 5, football 7, goalball, judo, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis.
Buenos Aires 2013 attracted more than 600 athletes from 16 countries, who competed across 10 sports. Brazil topped the medal 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.
For more information, visit Sao Paulo 2017’s website.