Bonn, Germany, March 19, 2012: It will be mandatory for the hosts of the Pan American Games to also stage the Parapan American Games in future years, it has been announced. At the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) General Assembly in Mexico City, PASO President Mario Vasquez Raña confirmed that the host city of future Pan American Games will be required to perform the same organizational duties and venue provision for the Parapan American Games too.
The Parapan American Games were first staged in Mexico City in 1999 as a standalone event and have taken place every four years since. In 2003, the Games were held in Mar del Plata, Argentina and four years later Rio successfully brought the Pan and Parapan American Games together with both events running back-to-back utilizing a number of the same venues.
Last year Guadalajara, Mexico also staged both Games. The Pan American Games featured 6,000 athletes from 42 countries competing in 36 sports whilst the Parapans attracted 1,300 athletes from 24 countries. In total there were 277 medal events in the latter event across 13 sports.
The next Games will take place in Toronto in 2015 and the Local Organizing Committee stated in its winning bid the desire to stage both Games after each other. Ocatvio Londoño, President of the Americas Paralympic Committee, who was an invited guest at the PASO General Assembly is delighted at the growing working partnership that is developing between the APC and PASO.
“This announcement is excellent news for the development of Paralympic Sport in the Americas,” said Londoño. “It is a step in the right direction of fulfilling our aim of having inclusive sport in all the 42 countries of the American continent.
“Staging the Pan and Parapan American Games back-to-back has proven to be a winning formula since 2007 with both Games continuing to grow in size and stature.”
It was also announced at the General Assembly that the Americas Paralympic Committee will benefit from $100,000 USD of financial support from PASO which will be invested in the development and strengthening of the Americas Paralympic system.
Ocatvio Londoño added: “I am overwhelmed by the support that PASO has shown the APC and the Paralympic Movement in the Americas. I would personally like to thank Mario for his kindness, generosity and unwavering support.
“It demonstrates the harmony and willingness of the two organizations to work together. We share some common goals – namely growing sport in this continent – and with this extra support we will go some way to supporting the United Nations convention that speaks of the right to sport for all human beings.”
For more information about the Americas Paralympic Committee, please visit www.americasparalympic.org
Picture © IPC
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