TOUCHING MEDAL CEREMONY AT SPORTS CENTER 3 IN VIDENA
In addition to the gold medals, the medalists took with them a souvenir of the ancient Peruvian pre-Hispanic culture: clay cuchimilcos.
The Sports Center 3 of Callao dressed up for the celebration of the first medal ceremony of the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games. Para table tennis was the sport that granted the first medals to the delegations that, in this way, leave a mark and will be remembered forever for their passage in the Peruvian capital.
In this act, the President of the National Paralympic Association of Peru, Luisa Villar; and the IPC Head of Protocol, Hospitality and Events, Stephanie Keller, presented the first gold medal of Lima 2019 to the Chilean Para athlete, Tamara Leonelli.
The Chilean Para athlete stated that she is proud of obtaining this first triumph for her country. “Lima 2019 has given me the opportunity to obtain this first medal for my country and the feeling is indescribable,” expressed Tamara with great effusiveness.
Another of the winners was Yunier Fernández, Cuban Para athlete. From his neck hung the medal that gave him an almost mythical aura. “I feel like the happiest man in the world right now, because this is an achievement I have been tirelessly seeking for the last three Parapan American Games,” he said, overflowing with joy.
Both distinguished Para athletes, who embody the Paralympic values, also took with them an emblematic souvenir of the Peruvian culture: a cuchimilco made of clay.
These figures of the pre-Hispanic culture of Chancay, which represent the symbolic official mascot of the Games, have marked an unprecedented gesture that has touched these Para athletes. “For Peru, this is a memory of its millenary past, and for me, it represents an unforgettable moment in my sports career,” expressed with gratitude the Cuban Para athlete.
Thus, Lima 2019 is not only becoming the epicenter of excellence in continental Para sports, but also the space where the cultures of the Americas converge, under the protection of the guiding Paralympic principles.