The International Federation for Intellectual Impairment Sport (World Intellectual Impairment Sport) has joined other members of the Paralympic Movement in sending its condolences to the family of Jose Luis Campo, President of the Americas Paralympic Committee (APC), who passed away suddenly on Monday (16 October).
Campo was instrumental in the development of the Paralympic Movement in the Americas, and was hugely supportive of sport for athletes with an intellectual impairment.
“This is such a huge shock and our thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time,” Marc Truffaut, World Intellectual Impairment Sport President, said. “We have lost a very important figurehead not just from the APC but from the Paralympic family as a whole.”
“Jose Luis was a great advocate for World Intellectual Impairment Sport and its athletes. He was always keen to be as inclusive as possible and we will remember his passion and determination with great fondness.”
On Wednesday (18 October), Campo would have celebrated his 60th birthday and leaves behind his wife Sonia Incaurgarat and three children Bernardo, Manuel and Josefina.
A physical education teacher for youngsters with an impairment, Campo was elected the APC’s founding President in 1997. He served two terms until 2005 during which time he worked to establish and develop National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) in the region.
He was elected President once again in 2013 and was currently serving his fourth term following re-election in March 2017 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Campo oversaw the organisation of the inaugural Parapan American Games in Mexico City in 1999. He played an influential role in bringing them to his home city of Mar de Plata in Argentina four years later and then to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2007. Campo also helped create the Youth Parapan American Games.
In 2013 he led the organisation of an eligibility workshop in Costa Rica for Americas NPCs on athletes with intellectual impairments.
In December 2015, months after the hugely successful Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, Campo signed a historic agreement on behalf of the APC with the Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO). This includes working together on the bid process for the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games as well as the promotion and development of Paralympic sport.
During his current term as President, Campo was working closely with the Organising Committees of the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games and Managua 2018 Para Central-American Games, once again, in order to strengthen the Paralympic Movement in the Americas.
Away from the APC, Campo served on the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Executive Committee from 1997 to 2005 and was an IPC Governing Board member between 2009 and 2013. He was part of the Rio 2016 International Olympic Committee Co-ordination Commission overseeing Latin America’s first Paralympic Games, an event that saw NPCs from the Americas win more medals than ever before.
Campo passed away in Mar del Plata after suffering a suspected heart attack while participating in a fundraising walk/run event to raise funds for organisations fighting children’s cancer.
With thanks to the International Paralympic Committee for additional reporting.