Last year, the ParaChile table tennis Team shone at the Parapan American Games that were held in Lima, Peru. The team managed to win 13 medals, 4 of them gold, and qualify three players for Tokyo 2020. Among them was the Maipucino, Cristián González.

This successful player began his sports career in 2014 by participating in the last Para-South American Games. A year later he would arrive at his first Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, which gave him the experience and talent for which he stands out today.

Already in 2019, González arrived at the Parapan American Games in Lima full of hope and showing his talent, he managed to earn two gold medals, one in the individual category 4 and the other with his partner, Maximiliano Rodríguez, in the category teams class 3-5.

Today, the outstanding athlete is working hard for what will be his first Paralympic Games and is projected in what could be his third Parapan American Games. González looks forward to the arrival of Santiago 2023, where he hopes to replicate his visit to Lima.

We saw a very consolidated team in Lima 2019, what impressions do you have of their performance as a team?

As a national team I think it was incredible for us. For comparison, in Toronto 2015 4 medals were obtained, 1 gold and 3 bronzes, and in Lima we blew it up, we earned 4 gold, 3 silver and 6 bronze. Ultimately this gave us a total of 13 medals, which are more than triple those of Toronto. Also, there was only one qualified for Rio and, in Lima, we got 3 to Tokio, Tamara Leonelli, Matias Pino and myself. Later, Luis Flores was added as the 4th classified, after his good performance in his last competitions. 

Do you, and your team, expect to repeat those feats in Santiago 2023?

It was definitely better and it was obvious that in Santiago 2023 we want to repeat it, even improve it. We always want to improve and keep climbing, because that's what we train for. In those future Games we will have an advantage by competing in the same venues where we train and this is going to be very important. Although in Lima we did not feel alone, on the contrary, many people came to support us and we felt very supported. But in Santiago we will have a much stronger audience and that is going to be important.

What are your expectations for the event?

We hope it will be a very big party, just like Lima was. The organization made a nice tournament. I would say it was almost at the height of Toronto 2015, a great event in all aspects. I hope Santiago is even better.

What benefits do you think Santiago 2023 brings to our country and to the development of sport?

Bearing in mind what happened in Chile with the ODESUR, which resulted in a massification of the sport, I imagine that with Santiago 2023 the same will happen. In fact, after the ODESUR all the Paralympic athletes enjoyed a reputation that brought us many benefits. It made many people come to us to help us improve our training and performance. The ODESUR brought to the fore that many athletes needed support, that there was an issue to be solved, and little by little they were resolved. Hopefully after Santiago 2023 we will have an exclusive venue to train, essential for an athlete to go as far as possible, and that is what we aim for Tokyo and Santiago.

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