We had not seen him in other sports venues but, without a doubt, his gesture of thanking the fans personally at the end of the competition, filled with emotion all the people who attended the Villa El Salvador Sports Center.
This is Carlos Cano Yañes, member of the Peruvian national Boccia team, who after the match against Argentinian Mauricio Ibarbure, accompanied by a person who helps him move in a wheelchair, went to the stands to the see the crowd that was cheering his name and also Peru throughout the game.
There, with halting words and tears in his eyes, Cano told the spectators: “Thank you very much for your support, on behalf of the Boccia team, thank you.” Immediately, some people were moved and began to sob and others took the cell phone to film this emotional moment of a Peruvian participating in the Parapan American Games.
Although the Peruvian lost the match against the Argentinian, the fans noticed that, in each throw of the ball and in each point, Cano showed courage and stamina.
Subsequently, through a dialog, Cano said that he carries the Peruvian flag in this sports competition with honor, pride, passion, and he shares that every time he plays.
“We as members of the Boccia national team want to give a message that our participation reaches thousands of people with impairments and also all Peruvians, so that the whole country notices that we are not invisible, that we are capable and we transmit that when we play,” he said.
He expressed that after the participation of Peru in Boccia, it is expected that more people can practice this sport and represent their country.
Boccia is a sport of strategy and accuracy that was originally created for athletes with cerebral palsy, but it is currently played by people with different physical impairments.
In these Parapan American Games, Boccia has several sports classes divided into BC1, including athletes with cerebral palsy, who can have an assistant to perform actions such as passing the ball to them; BC2 for athletes with cerebral palsy who do not require an assistant; BC3 for those who have cerebral palsy or severe physical impairment. They participate using a ramp to throw the ball; and BC4 for athletes who have physical impairments other than cerebral palsy and throw without requiring an assistant.
The Peruvian team in these Games is made up of Dean Acosta, Carlos Cano, Javier Soto and María Cecilia Pancca.
Competitors in this sport have six balls of different colors (red and blue) and the game begins with the throwing of a white ball or target and the score is obtained for every ball that is closer to the jack than the opponent’s one.