The ParaPan American Games, where life plays

The ParaPan American Games, where life plays
Fecha de publicación: 
21 November 2023
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Used to watch sports from a mere competitive side —one of its main elements—, we sometimes ignore the life stories behind great sports prowess.

It happens in elite sports, and much more so in non-conventional sports, where thousands of human beings dignify their existence with the practice of sports, without subjecting everything to results.

Of course they all want to win; everyone wants to win, in any field of life, but not at any cost. And from the fans viewpoint, it is sometimes underestimated the efforts carried out by some athletes if results are not what we expect.

We are on the verge of the ParaPan American Games 2023, to be held in Santiago de Chile. And this is the ideal competition to see these people with some type of physical disability outdoing themselves, instead of evaluating personal or opponents’ records or scores.

Becoming good persons, useful to society, is already a huge award to everyone who, through birth or accident, lost their optimal vision or movement.

We have a lot of champions, from legend Enrique Cepeda to great Omara Durant. But before the start of the competition, I would like to send them my warmest hug and the trust that they will never let us down, whatever happens there.

In the case of Cuba, it is also worth highlighting the number of sports involving Cuban athletes. At first, Cubans only participated in two sports: athletics and swimming. Now, we have managed to participate in some other sports disciplines; namely, badminton, table tennis, shooting, cycling, taekwondo, and archery.

For all these people, the practice of sport goes far beyond a tournament or a medal, but the importance of a medal is multiplied by everything attached to it.

Sometimes many of them suffered from depression and felt frustrated by the setback life put on them. But they stood up and devoted to the practice of sports and so they got back to society, they got back to their families, and their own existence, when they mulled the idea of throwing the towel.

We will soon watch them in Santiago, enjoying or suffering, and competing like Cuba’s conventional athletes did a few days ago. And we will earn several medals for sure. Although it is not the most important thing here.

Life plays a huge role in sports for disabled people, where I include here hearing and cognitive impairments.

Taking all these into account, we are better person for sure.  

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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