Raul Anguiano voted Americas Athlete of 2019

Badminton player recognised after winning Guatemala’s first Parapan title 04 Feb 2020
a male Para badminton player raises his fist and racquet into the air in celebration
Raúl Anguiano de Guatemala
ⒸLima 2019

Raul Anguiano has been chosen by tens of thousands of voters as the Best Americas Para Athlete of 2019 following an outstanding performance at Lima 2019 where he won Guatemala’s first Parapan American Games title ever.

The 44-year-old badminton player made history by subsequently beating Peru’s Pablo Cueto, USA’s Eric Johnson and Canada’s Pascal Lapointe without conceding a single set to reach the men’s singles SL4 final.

In the gold medal-match, Anguiano defeated Brazil’s Oliveira 21-16, 21-12 to top the podium.

Raul Anguiano embraces his coach after winning badminton gold at Lima 2019
Raul Anguiano embraces his coach following his victory Ⓒ Lima 2019

“To win this gold medal was my goal, but I had to go step by step,” he said after the final. “It is so important and now I want to celebrate with my people and my family who came from Guatemala.”

In the poll, Anguiano received 61 per cent of the public vote, therefore being awarded the José Luis Campo Award as the Best Americas Para Athlete of 2019.

Taekwondo fighter Angelica Espinoza was the top female athlete as she ended second overall with 20 per cent of the votes.

Peru’s Lima 2019 Opening Ceremony flagbearer took the title in the women’s up to 49kg in front of a roaring crowd.

a female Para taekwondo athlete raises her arms in celebration
Peruvian Angelica Espinoza celebrates Ⓒ Lima 2019

Mexican swimmer Diego Lopez, who won five golds at Lima 2019 and four world titles in London, claimed third with nine per cent.

Colombian field athlete Erica Castaño, Chilean field athlete Francisca Mardones, Argentinian wheelchair tennis player Gustavo Fernandez, Salvadoran powerlifter Herbert Aceituno, US Nordic skier and cyclist Oksana Masters, Cuban sprinter Omara Durand and Brazilian sprinter Petrucio Ferreira were also nominated.

Nominations were compiled from submissions by National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) from across the continent.


The APC annually honours the best athlete for her or his outstanding sporting achievements throughout the previous 12 months. The award was named after the APC Founding President, pioneer and driving force behind the development of the Paralympic Movement in the Americas for 20 years.

A number of standout athletes are nominated by their National Paralympic Committees, with the APC voting on the final shortlist. The Athlete of the Year is then decided by public vote on americasparalympic.org over two weeks.

Mexican powerlifter Jose de Jesus Castillo Castillo was the winner of the first two editions in 2017 and 2018.

A male powerlifter holds up an award smiling with two other people and a furry mascot standing behind
Jose de Jesus Castillo Castillo receives Jose Luis Campo Award Ⓒ Lima 2019 for APC

The Americas Athlete of the Year winners are:

• 2017 – Jose de Jesus Castillo Castillo, Mexico, powerlifting

• 2018 – Jose de Jesus Castillo Castillo, Mexico, powerlifting

• 2019 – Raul Anguiano, Guatemala, badminton