Peruvian powerlifter Diego Quispe knows the Parapan American Games will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him to compete at a major international Para sport competition on home soil in Lima.
But beyond his sporting performance, the 20-year-old is excited by the impact such a big event can have on the country.
“At the Parapan American Games, everything is going to be about inclusion, equality and respect,” he said.
“Recently I had the chance to visit the Athletes’ Village and I think it is extraordinary. I would like to stay there from now.”
Quispe recently tested out the stage for the Parapans when he took part in the World Cup in Lima between 3-5 May. He ended third in the up to 54kg, giving Peru one of two bronze medals in the competition.
Fulfilling his dreams
As a kid, Quispe’s mother had a hard time getting her son to stay quiet. “I loved to run and run to different places. My mom was chasing me everywhere,” he recalled.
But it was also his mom who predicted that one day he would run away but much farther. “’You will travel around the world’, she once told me.”
Now, Quispe has already visited France, Brazil, Colombia and many different provinces within Peru. “It is all thanks to Para sports,” he said.
Lima 2019 will take place between 23 August – 1 September and will feature over 1,800 athletes competing across 17 sports, overtaking Toronto 2015 as the biggest Parapan American Games in history.