Glittering Para Pan opening ceremony

Saturday, August 24, 2019

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The National Stadium of Lima, also known as José Díaz Estadio Nacional de Lima, was last night ablaze with colour, music and fireworks, as the region's para athletes paraded in their national colours to a packed stadium and an estimated viewing audience of over 30 million.

The opening ceremony was creatively conceptualised by Hansel Cereza, the driving force behind the iconic opening ceremony of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, and captured the rich and ancient history of Peru.

Significantly, it also conveyed the admirable passion and emotion of Paralympism and the strength and conviction of young men and women, who dare to go beyond the incredible in athletic performances. Five hundred artistes and volunteers participated in the spectacle, 55 of whom have disabilities.

Team Jamaica was resplendent in gold and black and was led by flag bearer and team captain Chadwick Campbell, a sprinter who debuted in the semi-finals in the T13 100 m and 200m at the 2017 London World Para Athletics Championship and who is determined to do better.

“It is such an honour and privilege to be the flag bearer for my country and to captain my team. I accepted with pride and will never forget the opportunity given to me and will lead by example,” said Campbell.

Today, Jamaica's Navardo Griffith and Shane Hudson will bow into action in the men's F57 shot put and T45-47 400m, respectively, and Jamaica Paralympics Association boss Christopher Samuda, who is in Lima with the team, in commenting was cautiously optimistic.

“The gentlemen are focused and have sized the competition and know what they have to do to be on the podium. Shane has been there as a silver medallist on two occasions in these games and he is determined this time to step on the highest of the three platforms. Navardo, this is his maiden voyage onto the regional and international stage, but he'll weather any storm,” said Samuda.

The team in Lima has been going through some motivational exercises and devotions as aspiring athletes look with faith towards grasping and owning a piece of Para Pan American history.


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