The national wheelchair basketball team player, who is also part of the Santiago 2023 board of directors, is excited about the arrival of the Parapan American Games to our country, an instance where he seeks to make the Paralympic movement visible.

The athlete from the El Bosque district has been part of the Paralympic sport for several years now. It is his experience and ideas that have led him to be the captain of the Chilean wheelchair basketball team and the representative of the Chilean Paralympic Committee (COPACHI) in the Santiago 2023 board of directors.

As a player, he has the faith that the Chilean team can leave the middle of the leaderboard and show that they deserve to be among the best of them. For this reason, he and his teammates will give their everything to show the growth that wheelchair basketball has had in the country and its players.

As a member of the Santiago 2023 Corporation board of directors, Sebastián recognizes that the event will mean a lot for the development of sport in the country, especially for Paralympic sport. That is why he will seek to contribute from his experience and the needs of the Chilean Paralympic movement, to organize accessible and inclusive Games.

How do you see the organization of the Games in Chile?

These Games are going to be the biggest sporting event that Chile has organized after the 1962 Soccer World Cup and understanding that makes expectations and motivation huge. For the development of the sport it will be super important, and for Chilean conventional and Paralympic athletes, it will be very significant, since the vast majority usually compete outside the country, so they do not always have the support of family or friends, they do not feel this locality that in sport is so important and for the Games it will be essential.

On the other hand, the organization and holding of the Games will leave an immense legacy. It is essential that children are able to witness this type of event, so that they grow up with sport. In fact, we are looking at how to empower schools to participate in competitions. There is also the issue of infrastructure, which will help us (Paralympians) in particular. Santiago 2023 is a huge opportunity and I don't know if we are going to have one again, so we have to take advantage of it.

How do you think it can contribute to the development of the Paralympic movement in the country?

From the Paralympic perspective, having the possibility of showing sports, the development that we have had in recent times and that our own people recognize us, I think is one of the greatest motivations that we have. Finally, and personally, I believe that this instance will help educate people about Paralympic sport. The Games are a possibility to explain to the community that people with disabilities can also be high-performance athletes, and to make known sports that perhaps they did not even imagine existed. Those are some of the things that motivate me the most to be part of Santiago 2023.

What do you think of the Parapan American sports program?

We are super excited about the amount of sports we are going to have for the Games. The truth is that there was never a great discussion about the 17 sports and 18 disciplines that will be present, because we always knew that at least 16 sports were going to be there no matter what. We are happy with the number of sports that there are, and as a representative of the Paralympic Committee, I think we have representation in almost all sports, so we are very excited about the arrival of these Games.

Which are your expectations in relation to Santiago 2023?

I am 37 years old, and I think it may be my last mega sporting event with the national team, so personally, this has me super excited. I have been taking care of myself a lot and I have continued training to be always prepared for the return because there is little time left. My mentality is that the team can have a good role in these Games, because we have gone from less to more and we believe that it is the opportunity to make the big leap to be among the best in America.

This time we want to qualify, because last time we couldn't and it also goes through a theme that wheelchair basketball is a very popular sport in America and that it has a good Paralympic level. So we are happy and motivated to give it our best at these Games.

What are your future challenges?

On the part of the Corporation, we as people with disabilities and for the Paralympic movement there is something super important which is the issue of universal accessibility, and it is something that I have tried to put a lot of emphasis on. We cannot afford to make a mistake when it comes to accessibility at a world-class mega event. It is super important and a very big challenge, to be attentive that all the venues and spaces that we are going to occupy have accessibility for the athletes and the attending public, and we also want the media platforms and broadcast channels to be accessible. have the ability to reach everyone. In this sense, we want to make people with disabilities visible and make them participate in different instances in order to educate the population on these issues.

More news