The 2023 Santiago Parapan American Games were declared open on 17th November in Estadio Nacional. Nearly 2,000 athletes from 31 participating countries proudly paraded with their flags during the Opening Ceremony at Estadio Nacional of Chile. The stands, filled with over 15,000 spectators, echoed with cheers and applause.
Addressing the crowd and athletes, Jaime Pizarro, the Minister of Sports and President of Santiago 2023 Parapan American Games said,
“Today is a historical milestone for Chile, there is a lot of excitement to have this version of the Games, in which the best of high performance will be shown”
Requesting the crowd, he further added,
“Support the Para athletes, because everyone who has played sports, regardless of whether it was professional or amateur, knows what it means to perform in a full venue. Let’s encourage them to reach their maximum potential”
The vibrant colors of national jackets, like light blue for Argentina and yellow for Brazil, created a captivating contrast. Embodying the Paralympic spirit, athletes formed a close-knit community, exchanging pins and sharing cultural moments as they awaited their moment to shine in the upcoming competitions until November 26.
On day one of the swimming competitions, Brazilian women claimed a podium sweep in the 200m Freestyle, with Ana Soares (2:17.66), Beatriz Carneiro (2:21.16), and Debora Carneiro (2:22.46) securing the top three spots.
Paralympic Champion and Virtus Ambassador – Gabriel Bandeira set a new Parapan Am Games Record in his debut Parapan Games. He clocked 1:56.30, to clinch gold, defeating Colombia’s Garcia Juan (1:57.28). Macdonald Tyson (CAN) secured the bronze with a time of 2:01.61.
In the Men’s singles (Class 11) Semifinals, SIMOES Thiago (BRA) clashed with ROSAS Armin (CHI) in Match 1. Simoes secured a 3-1 victory, leading in the first match (11-6). Despite a comeback from Rosas in the second match (6-11), Simoes dominated the next two matches (11-1, 11-7) with determination, earning his spot in the finals. In Match 2, MARTINEZ Denisos (VEN) defeated SUQUILLO Angelo (ECU) convincingly with a 3-0 win.
The ultimate showdown for the gold medal took place between SIMOES Thiago (BRA) and MARTINEZ Denisos (VEN). Despite a tough fight, Denisos couldn’t withstand Simoes’s aggressive play, and Simoes emerged victorious with a 3-0 triumph.
Full results can be accessed from Santiago 2023 website.