The Largest Parapan American Games In History Kicks Off With Opening Ceremony

With an electric opening ceremony that celebrated both the spirit and evolution of the Paralympic Movement, the Parapan American Games Lima 2019 officially began on Friday, August 23 at the Estadio Nacional in Lima, Peru.

The 2019 edition of the Parapan American Games is the largest in history, showcasing 17 sports and over 1,890 athletes from 33 nations in the Americas region.

“Change doesn’t happen overnight; these Games are no magic wand,” said Carlos Neuhaus, president of the Lima 2019 Organizing Committee. “But my hope is that Lima 2019 will be the spark that lights the fuse and ignites a long overdue process of building greater awareness, understanding and integration of people with a disability in our society, and across the Americas.”

The theme of the opening ceremony was “elevation”, portraying a story of two children who embark on a journey full of challenges and obstacles, but are able to overcome them and reach greater heights through their friendship and resilience.

Each country’s delegation entered the stadium, where they were met by cheers from the audience. The 257 members of Team USA were greeted warmly as they walked in, led by three-time Paralympian Katie Holloway of the U.S. women’s sitting volleyball team. Holloway was selected by her fellow athletes for the honor of the flag bearer at this year’s opening ceremony.

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“I just feel really honored that the U.S. delegation of athletes saw me as a person that would be representative of them,” Holloway said. “To hold the flag, with honor, for our whole entire U.S. Paralympic delegation, is really special.”

The Parapan American Flame was carried into the stadium by multiple athletes before reaching the top of a totem surrounded by dancers and acrobats. It was initially lit on August 20 in Pachamac, the largest archaeological complex in Lima, and was then carried to other locations throughout the city before making its way to the Estadio Nacional for the duration of the Games.

To close out the show, the Peruvian band Bareto provided an upbeat mix of rock, reggae, psychedelic and tropical music to the audience. The group’s cumbia song “Cariñito” has become the unofficial anthem of Lima 2019 as it has been the Peruvian team’s entrance song, and been played at all sports venues and volunteer rehearsals.

Two sports, table tennis and wheelchair rugby, began competition prior to the opening ceremony, with the former hosting matches as early as August 22.

For the rest of the athletes; however, the opening ceremony signaled the beginning of a tremendous event with plenty of opportunities to shine on the international stage over the next nine days.

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Priest murdered in Mexico border town, becoming 27th to die in violence

Friday morning, Fr. Juan Martín Guzmán Vega became the 27th priest in Mexico to be murdered.

According to the Catholic Multimedia Center (CCM), Fr. Guzmán, variously referred to as Fr. Juan Martín or Fr. José Martín, was stabbed several times with a knife after returning to his rectory from a walk outside to get food. “Neighbors heard cries for help inside the parish, when they approached they saw Father José Martín seriously injured so he was transferred to the General Hospital of the town to be treated,” the report said. “Minutes later his death was declared.”

He was 55 and had been a priest for 15 years and served in the diocesan prison pastoral ministry and in the community of Cristo Rey de La Paz, Ejido Santa Adelaida.

Fr. Guzmán’s bishop, Eugenio Lira Rugarcía of the Diocese of Matamoros, issued a statement expressing “deep pain” over the “unfortunate death of the presbyter José Martín Guzmán Vega, of whom the competent authorities have already begun investigations to clarify the facts and do justice.

“In the meantime, we express our condolences to the Guzmán Vega family and the Cristo Rey de la Paz Parish Community, Ejido Santa Adelaida, and invite everyone to join in prayer to ask God for the eternal rest of Fr. Martin,” the bishop said.

CCM, a website run by Pauline Fr. Omar Sotelo, took note of a “rebound in violence” in Matamoros, a city bordering Brownsville, Texas. On August 19, state news media reported an incidence of shootings that injured and killed various people, including a child under 10 years old.

The August 23 murder is the latest violence against religious figures in Mexico. “So far this year there have been several incidents against priests and religious,” CCM noted. “Such is the case of a priest injured by a firearm in Cuernavaca Morelos and death threats to priests in various areas of Veracruz.”

On August 3, Fr. Aarón Méndez Ruiz, director of the Casa del Migrante AMAR migrant shelter in Nuevo Laredo, was kidnapped after blocking an attempt by an organized criminal group to kidnap Cuban migrants from the shelter.

Priest collar Credit alphaspirit via wwwshutterstockcom CNA 690x450

Members of the criminal group that abducted Father Méndez had attempted to kidnap Cuban migrants from the shelter with the intention of holding them for ransom, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). CSW noted that Nuevo Laredo had been added to the U.S. “Remain in Mexico” program, which requires migrants to stay in Mexico while they await immigration hearings in the United States. Father Méndez is one of many priests running shelters for migrants and asylum seekers in the area, CSW said:

Many criminal groups view Church leaders, both Catholic and Protestant, and their influence, as a threat to their power. Religious leaders continue to be threatened, kidnapped and killed, and a lack of proper investigation means perpetrators are not brought to justice.

Mervyn Thomas, chief executive of CSW, commented, “We urge the international community to engage with the Mexican government on these matters and to recognize the role that many religious leaders play, not only as leaders of their churches, but also as voices for peace, justice and integrity, and as human rights defenders.”

In July, Fr. Juvenal Candía Mosso was shot in the city of Cuernavaca while riding in a taxi for a prison ministry meeting. The priest was taken to the hospital. The driver was also injured in the attack, and died from his wounds. According to Catholic News Agency, quoting local media, the attack took place the evening of July 22 in front of San José Seminary in the village of Chamilpa, part of metro Cuernavaca.

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Mexico debuts Women’s Baseball Team with no-hitter at Pan Am Championship

Host Mexico debuted its National Women’s Baseball Team with a no-hit, 16-0, victory over Nicaragua to open the historic first edition of the Pan Am Women’s Baseball Championship, which is being played in Aguascalientes from 18-25 August.

Mexican pitcher Rosy del Castillo didn’t allow any hits or runs — and surrendered just one walk — against the Nicaraguan National Women’s Baseball Team, which is also making its international debut.

In other opening day action, Canada, currently ranked No. 2 in the world in women’s baseball, defeated No. 9 Dominican Republic, 11-1.

Alex Hugo launched a 2-run home run that helped lift No. 4 USA over No. 5 Venezuela, 15-5.

20180824 Women Baseball World Cup Dianelis Porro Cuba 1280x640

No. 7 Cuba topped No. 12 Puerto Rico, 11-9.

The Pan Am Baseball Confederation (COPABE), the continental arm of the WBSC, is live-streaming the games via its YouTube channel.

Ags Sports is the official media partner of the Pan Am Women’s Baseball Championship, which is being hosted by the Mexican Baseball Federation (FEMEBE) in collaboration with the Aguascalientes Sports Institute (IDEA).

The top four teams in the Pan Am Championship final standings will qualify for next year’s WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup, the top baseball competition for females, where France is already qualified.

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Tribute in Mexico to Fidel Castro

A tribute to the Cuban revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, Mexicans paid Saturday in the auditorium Ernesto Velasco, of the electricians'' union, on occasion of the 93rd anniversary of his birth that will be celebrated next Tuesday.

The ceeremony in his honor was organized by the Resistance and Rebellion Networks, Support Networks for the Indigenous Government Council, the Mexican Union of Electricians and the Solidarity Movement with Cuba.

A presentation by Mexican academics Alberto Hijar, Alicia Castellanos and Gilberto López, and the political advisor of the Cuban embassy, José Alberto Prieto, opened the tribute also attended by Venezuelan diplomats.

After the references to the life and work of Fidel, folk dance groups, poets, singer-songwriters, troubadours and musical groups, performed on the spacious stage of the union, in which lobby a photographic exhibition was inaugurated.

The academics divided their exhibitions into four main themes related to the importance of Fidel Castro's political thinking today, his life and work, the ideological definitions and his vocation as a full-time revolutionary, and the socialist conception in Cuba.

The idea that prevailed among the speakers was that Fidel lives through his ideas and his political thinking, like José Martí's, is more valid than ever and that, without a doubt, he is the revolutionary and statesman with greatest relevance in the real world.

Recalling the presence of the Cuban leader in Mexico, participants recounted passages from the preparations for the necessary war, the military training, the house of María Antonia as a meeting place, and among the memories arose anecdotes of Antonio del Conde 'El Cuate' and the acquisition of the Granma yacht that set sail from Tuxpan with 82 expedition members to start the war in the Sierra Maestra.

The role of Fidel in confronting the aggressions of the United States after the triumph of the Revolution and events that set the tone in Cuba and in the world were also highlighted.

They recalled the invasion by Playa Giron, the rocket crisis in October 1962, the persistent blockade and criminal actions such as the introduction of viruses that caused deaths and economic damage such as dengue and hemorrhagic conjunctivitis, or swine fever.

Prieto thanked in Cuba's name the lectures of academics and praised how in such a short space of time they made a historical tour from the assault on the Moncada Barracks on July 26, 1953 until the physical disappearance of Fidel on November 25, 2016.

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Mexican Foreign Secretary Describes El Paso Shooting as Terrorist

The shooting perpetrated at a supermarket in El Paso, Texas, in which 20 people were killed and 26 were wounded, was a terrorist act, Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said on Monday.

During a press briefing, Ebrard considered this an attack against Mexican nationals, so the possibility of lodging a complaint for this crime will be analyzed, so that the person or persons responsible can be extradited to Mexico.

This would represent the first denunciation in history of the relationship between the two nations.

Ebrard informed Monday afternoon during a press briefing that for Mexico, the man who opened fire in a Walmart store in the US border, 'is a terrorist'. He so far killed six Mexicans and at least injured seven.

He said that the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs will provide the Attorney General of the Republic with all the necessary information so that if federal Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero considers it, he lodges a complaint for terrorism against Patrick Wood, alleged responsible for the shooting.

Shortly after El Paso shooting, another attack in Ohio killed at least nine people and wounded 26, both apparently by white supremacists, according to some press versions inspired by the philosophy of Donald Trump, although this has been detached from the matter and condemned the crimes which are typified of hate.

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Mitchell and Quintero earn titles as Lima 2019 track cycling competition concludes

Canada’s Kelsey Mitchell and Colombia’s Kevin Quintero earned gold on the final day of track cycling competition at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.

Both riders had narrowly missed out on titles earlier in the week at the National Sport Complex Velodrome in Lima, but ensured they would not be denied again.

Mitchell, a silver medallist in the team sprint, progressed through to the final of the individual event where she faced the challenge of Martha Bayona Pineda.

The Canadian had too much for her Colombian rival, with Mitchell triumphing in straight rides to clinch gold.

An all-Mexican bronze medal contest saw Daniella Gaixola overcome her team-mate Jessica Salazar in both races to secure the final podium position.

Quintero emerged as the winner of the men’s keirin competition, following on from team sprint silver and individual bronze.

His medal set from Lima 2019 was completed when he powered to victory in the keirin, with the Colombian taking the lead in the final lap and refusing to let his challenges pass as the finish approached.

Venezuela’s Hersony Canelon and Argentina’s Leandro Bottasso completed the podium positions behind Quintero.

United States’ Kimberley Geist and Christina Birch took gold in the women’s madison competition, which was held for the first time at the Pan American Games.

The duo ended the race on a winning total of 46 points, ending nine clear of silver medallists Miriam Brouwer and Maggie Coles-Lyster of Canada.

Chile’s Antonio Cabrera Torres and Felipe Penaloza Yanez won the men's madison ©Getty Images
Chile’s Antonio Cabrera Torres and Felipe Penaloza Yanez won the men's madison ©Getty Images

Brouwer and Coles-Lyster finished level with Mexico’s Lizbeth Salazar and Jessica Bonilla win silver on 35 points, the same total as Mexico.

The Canadians win the silver due to finishing higher in the final sprint, leaving the Mexicans to take the bronze.

Track cycling competition concluded with Chile’s Antonio Cabrera Torres and Felipe Penaloza Yanez winning the men’s madison.

The duo scored points in each of the 20 sprints and gained a lap during the race to finish on 88 points.

United States’ Gavin Hoover and Adrian Hegyvary ended three points adrift to win silver, while Colombia were bronze medallists on 61 points.

The ninth day of competition at Lima 2019 had begun with Colombia's Sandra Arenas winning the women's 20 kilometre race walk in a Games record time of 1 hour, 28 min and 3 sec.

Peru’s Gabriela Garcia settled for silver in a season best 1:29.00, while Brazil’s Erica Rocha de Sena completed the podium in 1:30.34.

Ecuador's Daniel Pintado won the men's race in a time of 1:21:51, ending six seconds clear of challengers Caio Bonfim of Brazil and Guatemala's José Alejandro Barrondo, who won silver and bronze respectively.

Ecuador's Mauricio José Arteaga and defending champion Evan Dunfee of Canada were outside the medal positions, finishing 32 and 36 seconds down respectively.

Brazilian success came in the women's 10km open water competition with Ana de Jesus Soares triumphing in 2:00:51.

Colombia's Sandra Arenas won the women's 20km race walk ©Getty Images
Colombia's Sandra Arenas won the women's 20km race walk ©Getty Images

Argentina's Cecilia Elizabe Biagioli placed second in 2:01:23, while another Brazilian, Viviane Eichelberger, claimed bronze with the same time. 

Ecuador's Esteban Enderica was the victor in the men's race by clocking 1:53:46, ending 14 seconds clear of Guillermo Vitto Bertola of Argentina.

Taylor Abbott of the United States finished third in 1:54:02.

Favourites Meaghan Benfeito and Caeli McKay of Canada record an emphatic score of 320.64 to win the women's synchronised 10m platform diving event in the Lima 2019 Aquatic Centre.

Mexico's Alejandra Orozco Loza and Gabriela Belem Agundez Garcia won silver with 307.38, while a score of 281.10 saw United States' Amelia Magana and Delaney Schnell take bronze.

Colombia’s Daniel Restrepo triumphed in the men’s 3m springboard diving event with a winning total of 468.10 points.

He took the title ahead of Mexico’s Juan Celaya, who won silver on 454.30, with bronze going to Canada’s Phillipe Gagne on 448.65.

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The fifteenth gold metal for the Mexican delegation took time, but it arrived on the cycling track. The Mexican team set a new Pan American record in the women’s team speed test.

Jessica Salazar and Luz Daniela Gaxiola defeated Canadians Amelia Walsh and Marie Mitchel in the Final for the gold medal by flying over the track at more than 53 kilometers per hour and recording a time of 33,424 seconds, which left no options at from Canada, which closed with 34,096 seconds.

In this way the Mexicans made a place in the history of the Pan-Americans with their registration, which is still far from the world record, which belongs to China since February 2015 with a time of 32,034.

In the fight for bronze, Colombians Juliana Rendón and Martha Bayón defeated the Argentine couple and escorted the Mexicans on the awards podium. (



1. Trinidad and Tobago 43.972 / 61.402 k / h GOLD

    Paul Nicholas / Bramble Keron / Phillip Njisane

2. Colombia 44,584 / 60,559 SILVER

    Quintero Chavarro / Ramírez Morales Ssantiago / Murillo Minota R

3. Brazil BRONZE

    Da Silva Joao Vitor / Fonseca Da Silva Kacio / Cipriano Flavio Vagner

4. Mexico DSQ

   Resendez Landa Manuel / RUIZ Teran Juan Carlos / Verdugo Osuna E.

5. Peru

    Venezuela DNS


1. Mexico 33,424 / 53,853 k / h GOLD

   Salazar Valles Jessica / Gaxiola González Daniela

2. Canada 34,096 / 52,792 SILVER

   Mitchell Kelsey Marie / Walsh Amelia

3. Colombia 34,313 / 52,458 BRONZE

    Bayona Pineda Martha / Gaviria Rendon Juliana

4. Argentina 35,983 / 50,023

    Vera Natalia Andrea / Díaz Mariana

5. Ecuador

6. Peru


1. Holloway, Daniel R. (USA) 181 Pts. GOLD

2. Prado Juarez, Ignacio (MEX) 168 SILVER

3. Peñaloza Yáñez, Felipe (CHI) 166 BRONZE

4. Arango Carvajal, Juan (COL) 133

5. Gamero Zúñiga, Alonso Miguel (PER) 121

6. Thumb Araujo, Ángel Ramiro (VEN) 100

7. Campbell, Akil (TTO) 98

8. Contte, Tomas (ARG) 87

9. Arias Pérez, Yans Carlos (CUB) 85

10. Quishpe Quishpe, Carlos (ECU) 77

11. Monterroso, Dorian Javier (GUA) 69

12. Mars Aguilera, Junior Antonio (DOM) 46

13. Cijntje, Hillard Joseph (ARU) -40

14. Anchieri Zunino, Pablo Sebastián (URU) DNF


1. United States 4: 28,186 / 53,694 k / h GOLD

    Birch Christina M./Dygert Chloe M./Geist Kimberly A./Williams Lily B.

2. Canada 4: 29,145 / 53,502 k.h SILVER

    Coles-Lyster Maggie / Attwell Erin / Brouwer Miriam / Jussaume Laurie

3. Mexico 4: 37,879 BRONZE

   Salazar Vazquez L./Arreola Navarro Sofía / Bonilla Escapite J./Verdugo Osuna Y.

4. Colombia 4: 39,523

    Hernández Gómez L./Parra Rojas Jessica / Rojas Zapata L./Salcedo Zambrano J.

5. Chile 4: 46,776

    Villalón Sánchez A./Ahumada Riquelme D./Martínez R. V./Villalón Sánchez P.

6. Cuba 4: 51,742

    Cervantes Trujillo I./García Ocasio Iraida / González Yumari / Pradera Bernal Heydi

7. Ecuador 5: 04.460 / 47.296

    Aguilar García D./Herrera Teran A./Núñez Padilla M./Ojeda Rivera Leslye


Session 11:05 – 12:40

11:05 Velodrome Sprint ​​Male Ranking

11:24 Keirin Women’s Velodrome First Round Series 1

11:32 Keirin Women’s Velodrome First Round Series 2

11:42 Velodrome Men’s Sprint ​​1/8 of Final Series 1

11:44 Velodrome Men’s Sprint ​​1/8 of Final Series 2

11:46 Velodrome Men’s Sprint ​​1/8 of Final Series 3

11:48 Velodrome Men’s Sprint ​​1/8 of Final Series 4

11:50 Velodrome Men’s Sprint ​​1/8 of Final Series 5

11:52 Velodrome Men’s Sprint ​​1/8 of Final Series 6

12:00 Velodrome Men’s Sprint ​​1/8 of Final Repesca Series 1

12:07 Velodrome Men’s Sprint ​​1/8 of Final Repesca Series 2

12:15 Keirin Women’s Velodrome First Round Repesca Series 1

Session 18:05 – 19:43

18:05 Velodrome Men’s Speed ​​Quarterfinals Series 1

18:08 Velodrome Men’s Sprint ​​Quarterfinals Series 2

18:11 Velodrome Men’s Sprint ​​Quarterfinals Series 3

18:14 Velodrome Men’s Sprint ​​Quarterfinals Series 4

18:19 Velodrome Persecution by Women’s Teams Final Bronze

18:33 Velodrome Persecution for Women’s Teams Finals Gold

19:17 Keirin Women’s Velodrome Finals Final 7-12

19:23 Keirin Women’s Velodrome Finals Final 1-6

19:29 Velodrome Male Speed ​​Race for 5th to 8th places Series 1

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Saez, Prieto lead Cuba to dominating effort against Mexico

Cuba outscored Mexico, 10-0, and can still hope for a spot in Sunday’s World Championship game.

Cuba’s offence proved overpowering and combined for 13 hits. First baseman Christian Saez went 4 for 4, with a home run and five RBIs.

Starting pitcher Alejandro Prieto earned the win with four dominating innings.

Christian Saez was born in 2007 but at 1.82 meters (6 feet) makes an imposing figure. He got started with his personal show in the top of the first, when he got to Mexico’s started with an RBI single.

Saez added two RBIs in the top of the second when he welcomed reliever Gustavo Vargas with a two-out and two-RBI single to make it 4-0 and opened the score with a towering two-run home run in the top of the fourth.

Three more players enjoyed a multi-hit game for Cuba: third baseman Alejandro Cruz, left fielder Luis Valdes and starting pitcher Alejandro Prieto.

Prieto dominated on the mound. Mexico got the first hit against him in the second and reached third only once, in the bottom of the fourth.
Cuba’s starter topped a velocity of 77 miles per hour but was consistent trough the whole game around 74. He also showed at least two secondary off-speed pitches: a breaking ball and an impressive two-seam fastball.

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