“The majority of them are in the national team for the first time, but I think that we are going to put into practice everything we have been training over the last two months.
The Sao Paulo 2017 Youth Parapan American Games Opening Ceremony will take place at the Exhibition Pavillion of the Anhembi Events Center on Monday (20 March).
The event will take place in the West Pavillion and entry to the ceremony will be from the entrance adjacent to the Holiday Inn Hotel.
As well as the Parade of Nations, renowned Brazilian athletes will also be present at the event. These include several Paralympic medallists such as track and field athletes Veronica Hipolito and Yohansson Nascimento, judoka Alana Maldonado, swimmer Daniel Dias, table tennis player Bruna Alexandre and boccia player Evani Calado.
Americas Paralympic Committee President Jose Luis Campo, Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB) and International Paralympic Committee Vice-president Andrew Parsons, and Brazilian Sports Minister Leonardo Picciani, will also be in attendance.
The football 7-a-side will be the first sport to get underway in Sao Paulo 2017. Argentina will face Venezuela in the opening match, followed by Brazil versus Colombia.
In Group A, Argentina is accompanied by Venezuela and Panama, whilst Brazil was drawn with Colombia and Chile in Group B. The top two teams from each group will advance to the semi-finals.
“There is a lot of expectation surrounding this team, surrounding these boys,” said Wagner Melo, Brazil´s Head Coach.
“The majority of them are in the national team for the first time, but I think that we are going to put into practice everything we have been training over the last two months. If we do that, I think we will do a good job and win the gold medal.”
Over 800 athletes, aged 12-20 years old, from 19 countries are expected to participate 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.
The last edition at 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.