In a press conference held this Friday, the president of the International Paralympic Committee, Andrew Parsons, recalled that on that occasion they started with four sports and about a thousand athletes.
However, now in the seventh edition, Santiago 2023s more than 1,900 participate in 17 disciplines.
“It makes me very proud to see how we are in the Paralympic movement in the Americas,” he said, adding that for Chile hosting the games is a challenge, but also an opportunity to change the mentality of society towards people with disabilities. .
They don’t need favors, they need opportunities, he expressed.
The press conference was also attended by the Chilean Minister of Sports, Jaime Pizarro; the president of the Paralympic Committee of this country, Sebastián Villavicencio; the executive director of Santiago 2023, Harold Mayne-Nicholls; and the president of the Paralympic Committee of the Americas, Julio César Ávila.
Ávila highlighted the inspiration of the parathletes to be able to improve their times, their marks, which has contributed to recognition at an international and regional level.
He recalled that the best results were obtained at the Tokyo Olympics, despite the difficulties created by the pandemic when training and preparing.
It is very exciting to see that countries are becoming more and more consolidated, declared Ávila, and highlighted the good results of nations such as the United States, Brazil, Mexico and Cuba.
For his part, Sebastián Villavicencio assured that the first medal for team Chile is the great participation, beyond the results.
Today the delegation is made up of athletes in the 17 sports, said Villavicencio, who called on the public to fill the stadiums and enjoy this party.
The Parapanamerican competitions began yesterday, one day before the official opening, and will last until November 26 and will be held at the National Stadium Park and other facilities in the Santiago Metropolitan Region.