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News > Chile

Parapan American Games 2023 Kick Off in Santiago de Chile

  • Chilean para-athlete Claudio Bahamondes during a table tennis match, Nov. 17, 2023.

    Chilean para-athlete Claudio Bahamondes during a table tennis match, Nov. 17, 2023. | Photo: EFE

Published 17 November 2023

Among the sports featured this year are badminton, swimming, powerlifting, taekwondo, archery, shooting, track and road cycling, and wheelchair rugby.

On Friday, the opening ceremony of the 2023 Parapan American Games will take place at the National Stadium in Santiago, where around 2,000 athletes from 31 countries will compete in 18 different sports.


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The International Olympic Committee has announced that this event will feature 37 athletes who won gold medals at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

All the athletes will strive for medals and records until November 26, when the ongoing games will conclude, determining the top athletes for the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris.

The opening ceremony will be a musical celebration featuring the internationally renowned singer Beto Cuevas, known as the lead vocalist of the Chilean band La Ley. Also in attendance will be artists Anita Tijoux, Kya, Denise Rosenthal, Flor de Rap, and Pablo Chill-E.

Starting from Saturday, eight parasports will kick off, featuring a diverse array of athletes, including world champions. This promises to be a high-level competition.

Cuban Para-athlete Omara Durand, a multiple gold medalist in the Paralympic Games, will be participating in her sixth edition. Brazilian blind football player Ricardinho, a world champion with four Paralympic titles, and Mexican weightlifter Amalia Perez, aiming for her sixth Parapan American gold, are among the standout stars.

Others come to affirm the recognition they have already earned, becoming role models, such as Colombian para-swimmer Sara Vargas, Venezuelan para-athlete Lisbeli Vera, or Salvadoran weightlifter Hebert Aceituno.

The text reads, "Despite the variable temperatures in Chile, Omara Durand and her guide Yuniol Kindelan train very excited to compete in the 7th Para-PanAmerican Games from the 17th to the 26th of this month."

The 17 sports featured in Santiago 2023 are mostly adapted Olympic disciplines, including para-athletics, badminton, swimming, powerlifting, taekwondo, table tennis, archery, shooting, track and road cycling, wheelchair rugby, tennis, wheelchair basketball, judo, and football with variations for the blind and those with cerebral palsy.

Two exceptions are goalball, created in 1946, and boccia, which debuted at the 1984 Paralympics in New York, representing unique disciplines in these games.

Three sports that will not be part of this edition's calendar but have been included in previous Parapan American games are equestrian, wheelchair fencing, and sitting volleyball.

Brazil is the dominant force in the medal tally, having won 4 out of 7 editions of the Paralympic Games. Mexico, victorious in the first two editions, has recently been surpassed by the United States and Canada.


Omara Durand
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