LIMA — Nine days of competition culminated with the party of a lifetime on Sunday night in San Luis district of Lima, Peru, as Peru showed off it’s flashy, dancing, and fiesta sides.
To quote Julio Cesar Avila, the President of the Americas Paralympic Committee,
“The passion and pride of the Peruvians are inspiring”
That’s what the organizers of the closing ceremony attempted and succeeded at, showing the “passion”. Avila continued,
“It was highly pleasant to see how an entire city embraced this competition and turned out massively to each of the venues to support the best Para athletes in the Americas”
It will be hard to top these games and the respect and admiration that came from the Peruvian faithful. Over 170,000 tickets were sold for these games over the course of the event, including opening and closing ceremonies. This blows Toronto 2015 out of the sky, as the largest watched Parapan American Games to date.
Over 1,800 Athletes took part in the games as well from all the different countries, including a large delegation from Brazil who placed first in the medal count with a massive 308 medals in total. They broke the 300 medal mark for the first time in games history.
The United States of America was not too shabby themselves, leaving the games in second place, obtaining 158 shiny medals overall.
How did it all end?
After a performance for the ages to get you in the mood to dance by DJ Sixto, accompanied by party animal and mascot Milco, the countdown started on the big screens:
Fireworks! We were on our way towards the end of Lima 2019!
The show was hosted by Katia Condos and Gonzales Torres, who provided comic relief and translated into English.
After the national anthem of Peru was played came the introduction of the flags from all the nations, followed by Julio Cesar Avila, the President of The America Paralympic Committee (APC) and Martín Vizcarra, the President of Peru.
The first musical act was Laguna Rai, a band that played four latin reggae tunes.
It was then time for the athletes to give back to the volunteers, so in an act of thanks, a ceremonial Milco doll was given from a Peruvian athlete to a wheelchair accessible volunteer in good tidings.
This was immediately followed the section known as “Determination”, which was a dance number by the duo of Desiree Nunez de Prado and Javier Morales, who is wheelchair bound. There were pyrotechnics that went off at certain points of the dance.
In the section marked as “Courage”, the crowd watched a recap video of the Parapan Games and all the winners, the rise and the agony of defeat in some cases, but mostly triumphs. This was immediately followed by a performance by We The Lion, a rock band playing four songs.
It was time to pass the torch onto Chile, following speeches by Carlos Neuhaus, the President of the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games Organizing Committee, and Julio Cesar Avila, the Paralympic flag was symbolically passed from the Peruvian President to the Mayor of Santiago Chile, the next location of the Parapan American Games in 2023.
The flag of Chile was raised with the national anthem of Chile being sung by 14-year-old Isodora Guzman, a 2015 Telethon ambassador. What followed what music with a Chilean flair from the band Los Jaivas.
In section eight of the ceremony, “Equality”, acclaimed Peruvian singer and icon Eva Ayllon brought the house down with dancers and the extinguishing of the flame for this year’s event with the help of the two adolescents from the Opening Ceremony.
Finally it was party time. The section marked, “Fiesta” meant literally just that.
Performing their hits was Hermanos Yaipen, who rocked the stadium, then a fireworks number for the ages!
With that… silence. It was over and we all went our separate ways.
See you in Santiago 2023!