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Santiago de Chile will not only be the home of the XIX Pan American Gamesbut will also host the seventh edition of the Parapan American Gameswhich are scheduled to take place from November 17 to 26 and will have a Puerto Rican representation.
German Perez, president of the Puerto Rico Paralympic Committeeshared that the national delegation is made up of 45 people, including support staff, and that they will compete in nine sports: athletics, judo, swimming, Wheelchair Basketball, pneumatic shot, archery, table tennis, parapowerlifting and taekwondo.
The group is headed by the judoka Luis Jabdiel Perez and the semi-distance runner Carmelo Rivera. Both were silver medalists in the Lima 2019 edition along with the swimmer Darvin Baez.
“Today (Thursday) World Para Athletics certified the last two athletes in the sport of para athletics, so we already have the delegation,” said Perez, who hopes to present the competitors who will go to Chile on November 1.
On the 10th the advance team will leave, while between November 12th and 14th the competitors begin to leave. The group will spend the night in the same tower of the Pan American Village where the representatives of Puerto Rico sleep at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.
In the Parapan American Games, 18 sports will be competed in and representatives from 41 countries of the Americas.
They expect five medals
For the last Parapan American Games in Peru, Puerto Rico won three silver medals. For this edition they hope to capture five medals with Perez, Rivera, Oscar Fontan in taekwondo and Claudia Velez and Yaimillie Diaz Colon in athletics.
Baez will not be active in Santiago, Perez added.
As for the flag bearers, they have not yet been selected, as they are waiting for indications from the organizing committee as to whether there are one or two flag bearers.
“We are in the final details to start for Chile,” Perez stipulated.
The sports leader shared that for this event they set aside an item of their budget to reward the medalists. Thus, gold medalists will receive $1,000, silver medalists $750 and bronze medalists $500.
They seek to join Copur
On the other hand, Perez shared that the conversations between the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee (Copur) and the body he presides over to define what the sporting relationship between the two will be like is about to end.
“We are going to talk with the Olympic Committee for a year to define the strategy for entering Copur. We have met on several occasions, and we hope to have some type of relationship defined for the Paris 2024 Olympics. We want to emphasize that the federations of the Olympic Committee are also members of the Paralympic Committee,” Perez added.