The fourth and biggest edition of the Youth Parapan American Games will take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, between 20-25 March. Around 1,000 athletes, aged 12-21 years old, from more than 20 countries are expected to take part in this event.
Para athletics, boccia, football 5-a-side, football 7-a-side, goalball, judo, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis will be the 12 sports contested.
It will be organised by the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB), who will also host the Americas Paralympic Committee (APC) General Assembly in the days leading up to the Games.
Mona, the Spanish word for a female monkey, was the chosen name for Sao Paulo 2017 mascot, a female red howler monkey, in a poll conducted on the CPB’s page. The winning-name received 3,053 votes to finish ahead of the other two shortlisted names: Mina, a typical Sao Paulo slang for girls, and Sampa, a nickname for the city of Sao Paulo.
The female red howler monkey can be found in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, one of whose protected areas is located right next to the brand new Brazilian Paralympic Centre, where the competition will take place.
The first edition of the Youth Parapan American Games was held in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, and featured athletes from 10 countries. Four more countries attended the event in Bogota, Colombia, in 2009.
Buenos Aires, Argentina, staged the so far biggest edition ever, with 600 athletes from 16 countries competing in 10 sports. Brazil topped the medals table and 15 countries reached the podium at least once.
“Since the first edition of the Youth Parapan American Games, they have grown in size and stature each time and I am confident the 2017 event will be the best ever,” said APC President Jose Luis Campo.
“It is important for their development as athletes that youngsters get the opportunity to experience competition at the highest level and this event does just that. We have already seen graduates from previous Games go on to compete at the Paralympic Games and I am sure many of those who compete in Sao Paulo will do the same.”