THE AMERICAS PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE (APC) IS THE HEART OF THE PARALYMPIC MOVEMENT ACROSS THE AMERICAS AND LEADS THE PLANNING AND EXECUTION OF ITS FLAGSHIP EVENT, THE PARAPAN AMERICAN GAMES, ONE YEAR BEFORE THE PARALYMPIC GAMES.

The APC was established in August 1997 at a summit of the region in Atlanta, USA, and Argentinian José Luis Campo was elected founding President.

In the beginning, most of the countries did not have a National Paralympic Committee (NPC), and the majority of the members of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) from the Americas Region were federations for vision impaired, wheelchair athletes or the government.

But from then on, the APC has been growing continuously with very clear purposes and goals to achieve, working closely with its members while looking to build for more inclusive societies for people with impairment across the Americas through the support, promotion and development of Para sports.

it was not until 2007 that they were staged in the same city as the Pan American Games, following the Olympic/Paralympic model, with the Parapans taking place shortly after the conclusion of the Pan American Games.

Organised by CO-Rio in partnership with the Brazilian Paralympic Committee, the 2007 Games were held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, between 12-19 August.

The Games featured a record 1,115 athletes and thanks to the waiving of the entry fee for National Paralympic Committees, a record 25 countries took part.

The Parapan American Games returned to Mexico in 2011 with Guadalajara attracting 1,300 athletes from 26 countries.

They competed across 13 sports: archery, athletics, boccia, cycling, football 5, goalball, judo, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis.

Toronto, Canada, staged the penultimate edition in 2015 with 28 countries competing. During eight days of competition which featured 15 sports, 10 world, 70 Americas and 239 Games records were broken.

With 1,850 athletes from 30 countries competing across 17 sports, and a record number of 170,000 spectators supporting from the tribunes, the Peruvian capital city of Lima celebrated the biggest and best Parapan American Games in 2019.

Parapan history


1999 The dream of organising a regional event became a reality in November 1999, with the first edition of the Parapan American Games being held in Mexico City. A total of 1,000 athletes from 18 countries competed across four sports: athletics, swimming, table tennis and wheelchair basketball. Gold medal-winners at Mexico 1999 secured a place at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics.

The Parapans have taken place every four years ever since.

2003 The Argentinian coastal city of Mar del Plata staged the second edition in 2003, with 1,500 athletes from 28 countries competing across nine sports: athletics, boccia, cycling, equestrian, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair fencing and wheelchair tennis.

2007 it was not until 2007 that they were staged in the same city as the Pan American Games, following the Olympic/Paralympic model, with the Parapans taking place shortly after the conclusion of the Pan American Games.

Organised by CO-Rio in partnership with the Brazilian Paralympic Committee, the 2007 Games were held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, between 12-19 August.

The Games featured a record 1,115 athletes and thanks to the waiving of the entry fee for National Paralympic Committees, a record 25 countries took part.

2011 The Parapan American Games returned to Mexico in 2011 with Guadalajara attracting 1,300 athletes from 26 countries.

They competed across 13 sports: archery, athletics, boccia, cycling, football 5, goalball, judo, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis.

2015 Toronto, Canada, staged the penultimate edition in 2015 with 28 countries competing. During eight days of competition which featured 15 sports, 10 world, 70 Americas and 239 Games records were broken.

2019 With 1,850 athletes from 30 countries competing across 17 sports, and a record number of 170,000 spectators supporting from the tribunes, the Peruvian capital city of Lima celebrated the biggest and best Parapan American Games in 2019.

Paralympic Values

The Paralympic Movement has adopted and follows athlete-focused values, which act as the underlying reference for all those involved in Para sport.

  • Courage: Para athletes through their performances showcase to the world what can be achieved when testing your body to its absolute limits
  • Determination: Para athletes have a unique strength of character that combines mental toughness, physical ability and outstanding agility to produce sporting performances that regularly redefine the boundaries of possibility
  • Inspiration: As role models, Para athletes maximise their abilities, empowering and exciting others to be active and participate in sport
  • Equality: Through sport, Para athletes celebrate diversity and show that difference is a strength. As pioneers for inclusion, they challenge stereotypes, transform attitudes and break down social barriers and discrimination towards persons with disabilities.

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