The Peruvian flagbearer and Lima 2019 Parapan American Games gold medal winner, Angélica Espinoza, is listed among the candidates for best Para athlete of the American continent of August.

According to the Americas Paralympic Committee (APC), the Peruvian athlete is listed among the nominees revealed for the Best Female Athlete of August, based on their performances at the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games. The public can vote for the Peruvian Para athlete until next Thursday, October 3, on the APC official website (

In lieu of the Americas Athlete of the Month award, the APC decided to separate it into three different categories: Best Female Athlete, Best Male Athlete and Best Team, based on results obtained at Lima 2019.


Angélica Espinoza, Peru, Para taekwondo

Peru’s flagbearer and taekwondo fighter took the title in the women’s -49kg with a packed stand that did not stop cheering her on.

Amalia Pérez, Mexico, Para powerlifting

Bounced back after a disappointing performance at the 2019 World Championships to win the Parapan title in the women’s up to 55kg.

Ana Custodio, Brazil, Goalball

Led the Brazilian women’s goalball team that took gold at Lima 2019 following a victory over USA in the final.

Daniela Giménez, Argentina, Para swimming

Claimed gold in the 200 m individual medley and 200 m breaststroke SB9, as well as three silvers to finish as her country’s most decorated athlete in Lima.

Jessica Lewis, Bermuda, Para athletics

Enjoyed her best Parapan American performance ever with golds in the 100 m and 400 m T53, and silver in 800 m T53.

Lisbeli Verá, Venezuela, Para athletics

Sprang into the international scene at just 17 years old with gold in 400 m T47, and silvers in 100 m and 200 m T47.

Omara Durand, Cuba, Para athletics

The world’s fastest female Paralympian delivered once again another fantastic performance and too home three titles in the 100 m, 200 m and 400 m T12.

Poleth Mendes, Ecuador, Para athletics

Broke a Parapan American record with a 12.75 throw on her way to gold in the women’s shot put F20.

Sara Vargas, Colombia, Para swimming

Lima 2019’s youngest athlete at 12 was a huge sensation in the pool after winning four golds and one silver.

Tamara Leonelli, Chile, Table tennis

Became the first gold medalist of Lima 2019 after taking the title in the women’s class 5.

Nominations are compiled from submissions by National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) from across the continent.

The 2019 Americas Athlete of the Month winners are:

• January – Johanna Sossa and Johana Martínez, Colombia, wheelchair tennis

• February – Rebeca Valenzuela Álvarez, Mexico, Para athletics

• March – Matías Pino, Chile, Para table tennis

• April – Daniel Martins, Brazil, Para athletics

• May – Sherman Güity, Costa Rica, Para athletics

• June – Luis Flores, Chile, Para table tennis

• July – Juan Carlos Garrido, Chile, Para powerlifting

SOURCE: Americas Paralympic Committee




The story behind each medal won by the four Para athletes, during the press conference about the Lima 2019closing ceremony, is the true reflection that everything is possible in life. Peruvian athletes Israel Hilario and Angélica Espinoza, Colombian Angélica Bernal, as well as Brazilian Verónica Hipólito, showed their immense gratitude with the organization of the Parapan American Games.

Hilario (Para cycling) and Espinoza (Para taekwondo) won two gold medals for Peru yesterday and thrilled the fans. Hilario achieved a better record in the time trial event, despite competing in an integrated race against opponents with a lesser physical impairment. The athlete from Huánuco thanked Lima 2019.

“These Parapan American Games became a very important vehicle for social inclusion, because athletes with an impairment have demonstrated that we are productive and represent Peru with dignity,” said Hilario, Lima 2019 Ambassador, who won gold in Para road cycling

Likewise, Espinoza stated that Lima 2019 became one more reason for hope for the Para athletes. “With these Games it was demonstrated that many things can be improved with opportunities, because we have always had spirit and sacrifice, and surely in Santiago 2023 you will see a more important delegation in terms of results,” she mentioned.

The story of Brazilian Hipólito is moving. After overcoming 203 benign tumors that made her unable to train since 2007, she reached the last quota for Lima 2019 in the final stretch. Not even the two head surgeries that prostrated her two years in bed could with her energy. She will take home three silver medals and the affection of Peru.

“I enjoyed these Games more than the ones in Toronto because I literally came back from nowhere. Doctors said I could not compete again and winning a medal was illogical. Life brought me to Peru and I leave grateful to everyone and my message is that sport is only the first step for an inclusive society. We can regain happiness with sport,” stated Veronica, a former world and Parapan American champion.

Finally, Colombian Bernabe, who won gold and silver medal in wheelchair tennis (singles and doubles) also obtained a quota for Tokyo 2020. She never gave up despite losing her right leg and today is among the best in the Americas. “Peru did a great job of inclusion that could be imitated by other countries,” she said.



This afternoon, with the support of all spectators, Peruvian Angélica Espinoza claimed the gold medal in Lima 2019 women’s Para taekwondo.

Espinoza fiercely fought for each point, beating her rival Claudia Romero from Mexico.

Each point scored by the Peruvian Para athlete was celebrated by the whole coliseum, who screamed: “Peru, Peru, Peru!” and “Cómo no te voy a querer si eres mi Perú querido, mi país bendito que me vio nacer.” (“How couldn't I love you, if you are my lovely Peru, my blessed country where I was born.”)

During the fight, spectators spelled the Peruvian athlete’s name: Angelica. Every time she scored, fans raised the letters and cheered loud for her.

At the end, Espinoza bursts with joy carrying the Peruvian flag and thanks all fans who supported her.

This event was attended by the President of the Lima 2019 Organizing Committee Carlos Neuhaus, who enjoyed this Para taekwondo event.