"I ask you to give a round of applause to all who made these Games. Sport is a wonderful bridge that unites our people and gives them the chance to develop and be happy."
The 2013 Parapan American Youth Games came to a close in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Saturday (19 October) with a ceremony held at the Plaza Seca National Centre for High Performance Sports (CENARD).
More than 600 athletes, aged 14 to 21 years, from 16 countries took part in the Games which featured 10 sports. In his closing speech Claudio Morresi, the Secretary of Sports of the Ministry of Social Development of Argentina, was full of praise for all those who had taken part.
"I ask you to give a round of applause to all who made these Games. Sport is a wonderful bridge that unites our people and gives them the chance to develop and be happy," Morresi said before congratulating Minister Alicia Kirchner, President of the Games Organising Committee.
"All of you own an invisible medal nobody will be able to remove: the effort you have made to get here. You will now return to your countries with the responsibility to continue working for more and more athletes like you, to improve their quality of life through physical activity," concluded Morresi.
Outgoing President of the Americas Paralympic Committee Octavio Londoño said: "I want to thank everyone who worked to make these
Games a great success.
"In 2017 the Games will be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, hopefully with more athletes and more disciplines.
“I remember that in 2005, in Barquisimeto, was held the first edition of the marplatense dream thanks to Jose Luis Campos, who as of today, is the new President of the Americas Paralympic Committee.”
The 2013 Parapan American Youth Games featured athletes from 16 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, United States and Venezuela.
Sport was played in three locations: the National Centre for High Performance Sports (CENARD), the sports field at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and the Centre for Recreation and Sports National Rehabilitation Service (SNR). In these venues, youngsters competed in athletics, boccia, football 7-a-side, goalball, judo, powerlifting, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis.
The first edition of the Games was held in 2005 in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, and featured athletes from 10 countries. In 2009 14 countries attended the event in Bogota, Colombia.
Brazil, who will host the Games in 2017, and are targeting a fifth place finish at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games topped the medals table in Buenos Aires winning 209 medals overall, including 102 golds. All but one of the participating nations won at least one medal.