IPC 2013 Top 50 Moments: Parapan and Asian Youth Games A Success

October’s  Asian Youth Para Games as well as Parapan American may have very well produced future Paralympians. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has listed both Games as among IPC’s Top 50 Moments of 2013 (http://www.paralympic.org/feature/no-38-parapan-and-asian-youth-games-success) In October, two major events were held that will greatly increase the number of elite-level para-athletes in the near future – the 2013 Parapan American Youth Games and the 2013 Asian Youth Para-Games.

Both events, held within two weeks of each other, showcased how far the Paralympic Movement has grown beyond the elite level, with all standards of professionalism now trickling down to the youth events.

2013 Parapan American Youth Games

More than 600 athletes ages 14-21 took part in these Games, which featured 10 sports in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The Games featured athletes from 16 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, United States and Venezuela.

This year’s edition of the Games showcased the major growth of the number of youth with an impairment taking up para-sport, as the first edition of the event in 2005 featured just a couple hundred athletes from 10 countries.

Brazil, who will host the Youth Games in 2017, finished atop the medals standings with 209 overall medals, including 102 golds.

All but one of the participating nations won at least one medal.

2013 Asian Youth Para-Games

There were a total of 1,274 athletes and officials from 28 nations who participated in these five-day Games from 26-30th October, hosted and organised by the Paralympic Council of Malaysia (PCM) and Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In the third edition of the Games, 14 sports were contested, which was a major increase from the five sports contested at the last edition of the event in Tokyo in 2009.

Japan finished atop the leader board with 30 golds after claiming a whopping 20 golds in athletics, 16 in swimming and three in boccia. It was a major positive sign for the Japanese, as several of these athletes could hit the prime of their careers by the time Tokyo hosts the Paralympics in 2020.

Japan: Overall winner of the AYPG 2013

Iran finished second with 27 golds, followed by China in third with 25 and host nation Malaysia in fourth with 19.

During the Closing Ceremony of the Games, APC President Dato Zainal Abu Zarin said: “This has been a great journey, great moment to all of us.

“There were moments of joy and laughter, agony and despair, as athletes from all the five sub-regions in Asia, converged here to compete in Kuala Lumpur. These are our future stars, future heroes and future hopes.”

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