Around 250 athletes from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama will compete across six sports - athletics, boccia, goalball, powerlifting, swimming and wheelchair basketball – at the second Para Central American Games in Managua, Nicaragua, from 21-28 January.
"We are sure this event will continue to help grow and raise awareness of Para sports,” Americas Paralympic Committee (APC) Interim President Eduardo Montenegro said.
The Alexis Arguello Stadium will host the Opening Ceremony on 21 January.
Dionicio Zeledon, Secretary General of the Nicaraguan Paralympic Committee, said: “The continent already had Parapans, Youth Parapans and Para South American Games, so the Para Central American Games were the next step.
“Besides, the event’s equivalent for able-bodied athletes exists since 1973. It was important to have one for Para athletes.
“This is a huge opportunity to create and remodel facilities in Managua, to modernise and make them more accessible.”
In 2016, Nicaragua staged a Youth Talent Camp funded by the Agitos Foundation, the development arm of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
A total of 218 young promising athletes, swimmers and goalball players, and 48 coaches from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Nicaragua participated. Many of them will be involved in the 2018 Para Central American Games.
San Jose, Costa Rica, staged the first-ever Para Central American Games from 13-21 April 2013. Athletes from the host country, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama competed.
Nicaragua’s two-time athletics Paralympian and double Parapan American bronze medallist Gabriel Cuadra Holmann provided one of the best performances, winning three golds in the men’s 200m, 400m and 800m T36.
The 25-year-old, also a graphic designer, participated in the creation of the official logo for Managua 2018 alongside Marlon Carcamo.
“The torch is a symbol that represents both Olympic and Paralympic Games. As for the wings, I wanted to add them because some Para athletes do not have hands, some others do not have legs or arms or feet, but we all fly over the obstacles,” he explained.
“And we achieve what we set ourselves to do, no matter what impairment we may have. We always move forward.”
Cuadra Holmann will represent Nicaragua at Managua 2018.
More information is available on the official website (in Spanish).