The Head of Parapan American Sports, Gianna Cunazza, doesn't rest. This former national handball team and Physical Education Teacher, has been professionally linked to Paralympic sport for many years. She has been Chef de Mission in different Games, such as the Parapan American Youth Championships in Buenos Aires 2013 and Sao Paulo 2017; The Para South American Santiago 2014; the 2015 Toronto Parapan American Games and the 2016 Rio Paralympics. She already has 11 years experience working in the world of high performance and mega sporting events, during which she was also part of the Lima 2019 organization, where she held the position of Head of Parapan American Sports.
For Gianna, Santiago 2023 represents "without a doubt a huge challenge: organizing a Games with the complexities of the pandemic, with the austerity that determines the world situation, but at the same time, of great quality", she points out. “But the satisfaction that comes from contributing to the organization of the Parapan American Games in my country, and being able to host the Parapan American athletes in the region, has no limits".
What is your impression of how this 1000-day countdown arrives at the point we are in the organization?
I think the 1000 days come at a good time. Despite difficult times, in 2021 the corporation's teams will be strengthened with more professionals and this will allow the planning process to continue in an increasingly detailed and integrated manner among all functional areas. It will be 1000 intense days, with a lot of teamwork, and with our sights set on making great Games.
What are the challenges of organizing an event with this one, with each version more complex and numerous?
Each Game has its own challenges, and in our case, the pandemic has become one of the most important ones. However, something that can be an obstacle, gives us the possibility of creating new ways of working, new ways of relating to our main partners, new ways of achieving what we are looking for, without losing sight of the objective of organizing great Games for the people and for athletes.
The Parapan American Games are a unique event, which as a country we have to take advantage of. This event is an opportunity for boys and girls to know and value diversity, so that society as a whole advances towards a more inclusive society, where we fit and respect each other.
What is the most beautiful thing about this job?
I don't know if I could summarize it in one thing. On the one hand, I believe that this work allows us to know, learn and respect diversity… it makes us humanly richer beings. And on the other, having the satisfaction of helping the athletes who have worked so hard to make their dreams come true in an event of the level they deserve.
At the end of the Parapan American Games, with the task already done, what is the phrase that you would like to hear and that summarizes the event?
Uf ... you're making it difficult for me. I think we should all be more than proud, if the Paralympic athletes recognize a good level at these Games, which allowed them to live a beautiful experience and which made people vibrate with Paralympic sport. I would like athletes to say: "Santiago was a high-level game, very entertaining and with stands full of Chileans learning and encouraging us."
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