Today we're 3 years apart from the execution of one of the most awaited events for all sports lovers and the paralympic movement: the seventh edition of the Parapan American Games.
The Sports celebration will be hosted in Santiago de Chile, and will go on through an entire week, between November 17th through the 26th, 2023.
This event is expecting to welcome almost 2 thousand athletes from 33 countries, who will give their best in the event. This number is a reflection of the growth the Paralympic movement has gone through in our continent, since in it's beginnings (Mexico 1999), only 1.000 Para athletes participated in four sports.
"Today, there are 33 participating countries and over 2 thousand Para athletes, 3 countries and almost 90 Para athletes more than Lima 2019", confirms Gianna Cunazza, Head of Parapan Sports and Para Pan American Integration for Santiago 2023. “The number of sports and disciplines are maintained” she adds.
This same area is the one in charge of gathering the technical information to organize the Games in the best possible way. Up to date, the team has been able to meet with all the International Federations, visit several existing venues and start the contact with the National Paralympic Committees, which has "allowed to advance in planning, in order to cover the needs of each sport", Gianna mentions.
The Parapan American Games will be an unforgettable show and "we want the community to have the chance to know, learn and enjoy the great show that the Games offer. We are working with the aim to organize a high level Games, where, in addition, we will receive some of the best sportspeople the world paralympic sports", comments Gianna.
Nevertheless, one of the difficulties of the Parapan American Games throughout its history, has been that they haven't had the same strength and visibility than their counterpart the Pan American Games. However, the edition of Lima 2019 demonstrated that this concern is changing and to maintain that success in Santiago 2023, the Sports Area and Parapan American Integration are working in an integral way, and the same intensity in both Games. "We are aiming to establish equal conditions and service quality for both Games, working along all the functional areas of Santiago 2023, especially Infrastructure, Communications and Operations", Gianna reassures.
On the other hand, the Manager of Infrastructure and Operations, Max Sanchez, assures that both Games are being organized like a single event, and that from his area, the accessibility will be integrated from the beginning considering all aspects. “The main objective is to standardize the incorporation of the accessibility in the design of sport venues and thus to leave a legacy for future competitions”, indicates Max.
With the purpose of fulfilling this objective, the area is working along two architects hire through an agreement signed between the Corporation and the National Disability Service (SENADIS in spanish) and receives advisory from the accessibility expert architect, Ileana Rodríguez, who is also a part of the Americas Paralympic Committee (APC). All of them are giving support to the Infrastructure, Sports and Parapan American Intregration areas tasks.
As for the venues, the Peñalolen Park, the Olympic Training Center (CEO), the Choose Living Healthy Centers and the National Stadium Park, will be the venues that will host the Parapan American Games. The latter will be one of the most important ones for Santiago 2023, since the restructuring of the Park includes the construction of the Paralympic Training Center (CEP), a largely awaited promise for many paralympic athletes in our country.
"Currently, the venues that are being built or remodeled are in the background preparation for bidding stage, or in an open bidding for design and construction award stage", confirms Max Sánchez. Therefore, the first works are scheduled to begin in the second semester of 2021 until the beginning of 2023.
So far, one of the main objectives for all the Santiago 2023 areas, is to educate and raise awareness in the community about paralympic sports, in order to generate an environment of integration inside and out of the field of play, so #EveryoneTowardsTheGames.
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