The International Federation for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments (World Intellectual Impairment Sport) has announced that Santiago del Estero, Argentina, will host the 2018 World Intellectual Impairment Sport Open Swimming Championships (Americas).
The competition, which will run from 29 August – 2 September, will be the first regional event of its kind for athletes with intellectual impairments in any World Intellectual Impairment Sport sport in the Americas.
Around 160 athletes from 10 countries will gather at the newly built Madre de Ciudades swimming pool.
World Intellectual Impairment Sport President Marc Truffaut said: “These Championships represent a huge step forward in the development of our swimming programme and is something we are working towards in other sports. With a solid World Championships programme in place, athletes now have another high-level competition to train for.
“It will help the development of the sport in the Americas, meeting our commitment to build our regional event programme. It will also help to improve the capacity of competition organisers, reflecting the fact that swimming is one of World Intellectual Impairment Sport’ biggest and most popular sports.
“The Local Organising Committee have shown a great commitment to hosting a successful event. Not only do they want to deliver a fantastic competition, they also want to focus on the bigger picture including promotional activities and the overall athlete experience. I am sure it will set the standard for the future.”
A word from the organisers
Santiago del Estero 2018 is being organised by the Argentina Federation for Sports for People with Intellectual Impairments (FADDIM). They will work with the national swimming federation on delivery of the competition. World Intellectual Impairment Sport have also applied for the competition to be recognised by World Para Swimming and for their classifiers to attend.
“FADDIM is getting prepared for an historic moment, when we will welcome great figures from the world of World Intellectual Impairment Sport swimming. This will also be our first international swimming tournament,” Professor Franco Petta, President of FADDIM, said.
“We are taking huge pride in being able to organise such an important event, and above all, know the great responsibility when receiving young elite athletes who we hope achieve enriching experiences and can gain and share the values of sport and life.
“We hope that this event will be also a great tool to raise awareness of the potential of people with intellectual impairments.
“We expect to receive here many countries from all over the world, from different religions and races. This will allow us to demonstrate once again, that the World Intellectual Impairment Sport movement is a great boost towards the inclusion of our athletes.
“This celebration of sport is a great dream of all the Argentines and we are sure that Argentina can be recognised by the world.
“I personally would like to thank those who are making a great effort to come along with us on our journey.”
Santiago del Estero 2018 will be one of the last major events ahead of the 2019 World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games in Brisbane, Australia. The Games are the world’s biggest gathering of elite athletes with intellectual impairments and will be a major step on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.