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  • New Paralympic Leader for Americas


    New APC President Julio César Avila of Colombia.
    (ATR) Colombian Julio César Avila was elected new president of the Americas Paralympic Committee in a hard-fought vote.

    The election took place in Lima on the eve of the opening of the VI Parapan American Games.

    Four rounds of voting were needed to decide the contest that began with three candidates.

    Besides Avila, incumbent Julie Dussliere of the United States and Luisa Villar, president of the Paralympic Association of Peru, were in the race.

    Villar dropped out in the second round of voting. Two more rounds were needed before Avila reached the 15 votes needed from the 28 countries participating in the APC General Assembly.

    Avila, who is a blind athlete and president of the Colombia Paralympic Committee,  is the fifth person to occupy the presidency.

    Predecessors include
    José Luis Campo (Argentina, 1997-2005, 2013-2017), Andrew Parsons (Brazil, 2005-2009), Octavio Londoño (Colombia, 2009-2013) and Dussliere (2018-2019).

    Parsons, current president of the International Paralympic Committee and member of the IOC, attended as a guest the continental forum.
    Avila will serve for two years until the next elections in 2021.

    This was Avila's second attempt for the APC presidency. In May 2018 he was a candidate in elections won by Dussliere. That vote was needed after the sudden death in October 2017 of José Luis Campo.

    Campo died after a heart attack while participating in a charity race in his hometown of Mar del Plata, Argentina.

    Approximately 2,000 athletes from 33 countries will be at the Parapan American Games. They follow the Pan American Games which closed on August 11.

    Up to fifteen disciplines will be qualifiers for the next Tokyo Paralympic Games.

    The program will feature 17 sports.

    The United States delegation, the largest with 257 athletes, includes 67 Paralympic medalists including 36 gold.

    Written by Miguel Hernandez. For general comments or questions, click here. Your best source of news about the Olympics is, for subscribers only.