There are different levels of disability and for the athletes in the Paralympic world, the barriers that the disability could pose seem to disappear when their successes define them.
Today, December 3, the date we celebrate the International Day of People with Disabilities, we want you to meet some of the most outstanding and successful Para athletes in the history of the Parapan American Games.
This Brazilian Para swimmer has been on the books of all world events, since he has accumulated a total of 77 gold medals throughout his career. Daniel is 32 years old and has competed in the last four editions of the Parapan American Games, an event in which he has 33 golds, of which 6 were won in the Lima 2019 edition.
The most successful sportswoman of the Paralympic movement of the last decade stands out in the most important tracks of the world. The Cuban para athlete has participated in six occasions in the Parapan American Games, and in Lima 2019 she obtained her third triple gold. Durand also stands out at world-wide level, for winning 5 golds in last two editions of the Paralymic Games.
The Argentine wheelchair tennis player has achieved the number one of the world in several occasions - today he occupies 2nd place and is possessor of 5 Grand Slam titles. Gustavo stands out in the paralympic and parapan american movement, where he accumulates 5 gold medals ( 3 in singles and 2 in doubles) adding up his participation in Guadalajara 2011, Toronto 2015 and Lima 2019.
Native from Mexico, the para powerlifter is an outstanding athlete in America and the world. In Lima 2019, Amalia obtained her fourth gold medal and also in broke the record of Toronto 2015, after lifting 120Kg. Perez, has also been a five-time Paralympic medalist.
Specialist in 50 m freestyle, 100 m butterfly style and 200 m chest style, Daniela is one of the most outstanding para swimmers in Argentina and America. She has participated in the 2007 Rio Parapan American Games (at just 14 years old), Guadalajara 2011, Toronto 2015 and Lima 2019, adding a total of 14 medals. She has also competed at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, London 2012, Rio 2016 and is now in Tokyo 2020.
Listed as one of the best athletes in Mexico, Saúl Mendoza excelled in the World and Continental Athletics. He participated in the Paralympic Games of Seoul 1988, Atlanta 1996, Sidney 2000 and Athens 2004, where he obtained a total of 6 medals: 2 golds, 1 silver and 3 bronzes. Also he was seen in the Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games, where he obtained the silver medal in the test of 800 m T54 category.
The Chilean Para powerlifter has been one of the promoters of Paralympic sport in our country and has stood out for his achievements worldwide. He participated for the first time in the Paralympic Games in Guadalajara 2011 and from there he has not stopped. In that instance, he obtained bronze, while in Toronto 2015 he achieved gold and broke the Parapan American record, events that were repeated in Lima 2019. He has also been to the Sydney 2000 (4th place) and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
This Brazilian Para athlete is known worldwide for his participation in the Paralympic Games in Beijing 2008, London 2012 -where he beat the favorite Oscar Pistorius- and Rio 2016, in which he accumulates a total of 3 medals: 1 gold and 2 silver. The sprinter was also present at the Parapan American Games in Guadalajara 2011, where he won a silver medal in the 200 m and a bronze medal in the 100 m.
Specialist in 100 and 200 m, the Argentine Para athlete stands out for her achievements on world tracks. In the last Paralympic Games in Rio 2016, Yanina got the gold medal in the 100 m sprint. Since 2011 she has participated in the Parapan American Games, events in which she has always been on the podium and has accumulated a total of 6 medals: 4 gold and 2 silver.
Named the best Para athlete in America in 2017, “Chuy” Castillo won gold in the -107kg category at the Lima 2019 Para powerlifting. He also competed in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, where he managed to be on the podium after winning the bronze medal in the -97Kg category.
After obtaining 5 medals (3 gold and 2 silver) during his time in Lima 2019, the Chilean Para swimmer became the first compatriot to achieve multiple gold medals in the Parapan American Games. He also broke four Parapan American records in his participation. Abarza was also in the Paralympic world event, where he reached 8th place in the 50m final.
At just 12 years old, she won two medals - one gold and one silver - at the Parapan American Games in Lima 2019. During the same year, the Colombian swimmer won three gold medals, in 50, 100 and 400 freestyle - in the World Series of Paralympic Swimming held in the United States. Sara certainly has a bright future and is already considered a star in Colombia, especially for her extraordinary results at such a young age.
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