The Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB) elected the fourth President in its history on Friday (31 March) when the former football-5-a-side star and two-time Paralympic champion Mizael Conrado was elected for a four-year term. Conrado replaces Andrew Parsons, who was in charge of the CPB since 2009. Naise Pedrosa and Ivaldo Brandao will be, respectively, the first and second Vice Presidents.
Conrado is the first Paralympic medallist to take over as CPB president. Besides the two gold medals achieved at the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, Conrado was chosen as the world's best football-5-a-side player in 1998.
"Being elected as President of CPB is a very emotional moment to me. I acknowledge the challenges to come, but even bigger will be our responsibilities. This responsibility comes with the commitment to giving my best in order to give a chance to those who have not yet had access to the Paralympic Movement. I want to honour the magnitude of this Movement and also honour the other Presidents who paved the way for us. Former President Andrew Parsons left a legacy of harmony in the Paralympic Movement and I am committed to keeping it. Together we will be stronger," said Conrado.
Mizael served as a Vice President during the two terms of Parsons.
Parsons said: "I want to wish best of luck to our new board. They are three extremely capable people. I have worked side by side with Brandao and Mizael. Mizael's perspective as a former athlete, put together with his experience as a Vice President, will make him a great President. I'm sure he will lead our Paralympic Movement not only to the top of medal tables but will also open doors to people with impairments in all levels.”
As a Vice President, Conrado was pivotal in the passing of The Inclusion of People with Disabilities Act, which eliminated accessibility barriers in transport, housing, services, education, sport and the exercise of citizenship in Brazil. The law also stated that 2.7 per cent of the gross revenues of the federal lotteries should be invested in sport, up from the 2 per cent level.
After conducting the discussions for the new law in the Brazilian Senate, former football star and now a Senator Romario supported Mizael for the highest position in the Brazilian Paralympic Movement.
Romario said: "It makes me really proud the fact that Mizael Conrado was elected President of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee. A person with a vision impairment ahead of Brazil's NPC is very emblematic, especially in a country where we do not see former athletes ahead of our sports federations very often. This is going to be key for him, because his practical experience will give him a different perspective. Besides that, Mizael is also a lawyer. So I want to wish him and the Brazilian Paralympic Movement best of luck.”