[Source: Lima 2019] Thousands of Peruvians today descended onto Lima’s Historic Centre to celebrate the one-year countdown until the Lima 2019 Pan American and Parapan American Games.
The event, organised by the Lima 2019 Organising Committee, together with the Peruvian Olympic Committee, Peruvian Paralympic Committee and Peruvian Institute of Sport, was held at Lima’s iconic Plaza de Armas.
Sporting demonstrations were setup across Lima’s Historic Centre in order to familiarise members of the public with sports and para-sports set to take place during the Games. These included basketball, wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, tennis, golf, archery, Para archery, football, five-a-side football and bowling.
A meet and great zone was also established for members of the public to engage with a selection of Peru’s top athletes and para-athletes who will take part in the Games next year.
The event was attended by a wide range of Peruvian sporting authorities including President of Lima 2019 Carlos Neuhaus and the Head of the Peruvian Sports Institute (IPD) Oscar Fernández.
The event culminated in the unveiling of a Lima 2019 clock which kickstarted the countdown to the biggest sorting festival ever to be held in Peru.
Addressing members of the public at the Plaza de Armas Lima 2019 President Carlos Neuhaus said:
“Today we celebrate an important milestone on our journey to hosting Peru’s largest ever sporting event. One year from now, the best athletes from the Americas will be in Peru competing in what will surely be the best ever Pan American Games and Parapan American Games.
“We are preparing the right Games for Peru and Panam Sports. Our Games will feature world-class and sustainable venues designed for maximum social and sporting legacy. We are building many of these venues in underserved neighbourhoods to ensure the legacy affects these communities. .
“The Parapan American Games will also create opportunities and improve accessibility for people with an impairment across Peru.”
In what was the biggest surprise of the day, a pre-recorded message from Peru’s record goal scorer and captain of the national football team, Paolo Guerrero was screened to members of the public at the Plaza de Armas.
“Hello friends. In one year Lima will host the biggest sporting event on the continent – the Pan American and Parapan American Games.
“As a Peruvian, I feel immensely proud as this is a great opportunity to prove that we can compete at the highest level, always in the spirit of fair play. The Games are also a great opportunity to build modern sporting infrastructure that will be left as a legacy for all of Peru.
“For that reason, I ask you to not put away your jerseys. Keep supporting us and together we can show the world that we can add commitment to our enthusiasm in order to achieve our dreams. Let’s all get ready for the Games.”