Earlier today on Facebook, Americas Paralympic Committee congratulated Asociación Nacional Paralímpica del Perú on gaining provisional membership with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). They were granted this status on February 4, though the decision still needs to be ratified by the full body of the IPC.
Membership came after the Instituto Peruano del Deporte (IDP) officially recognized the organization on January 28. That announcement was made in the presence of some of the country’s most elite para-sportspeople including athletics competitors Carlos Felipa, Jeny Vargas, José Casas and Efraín Sotacuro, wheelchair basketball players Pilar Jáuregui and Marlene Tunqui, badminton competitor and swimmer Pedro Pablo de Vinatea and swimmer Jimmy Euler.
IDP President Saúl Barrera Ayala said on January 28, “This is a day where an important milestone in the sport is established because for the first time the Paralympic National Association of Peru is created. From the IPD already have our commitment. Everyone has the right to practice and develop the sport. This will allow work in an organized manner with a view to Lima Parapan Games 2019. I am an optimistic growth Paralympics.”
The first board of the organization includes people who have long been involved with disability sport in the country. They include President Luisa Villar, Vice President Oscar Fernández, Secretary General Luis Enrique Lastarria, Treasurer Andrés Bel, and other board members including José Giha, María Luisa Sarmiento and Víctor Laynez.
Peru has long sent competitors to compete at the Paralympic Games, though in very low numbers with their first appearance taking place in 1972 when J. Gonzales competed in three swimming events and at the 1976 Summer Paralympics when the country sent two competitors, T. Chiapo and J. Gonzales. The pair won three medals, one gold and two bronze, in three different sports: swimming, athletics and table tennis. The country then took a break from the Games, and did not send athletes again until 1996 when Juan Chavez and Jamie Eulert represented the country in swimming. Eulert won gold at those Games in the Men’s 50 m Freestyle S3. They have competed at every Games since. At the 2012 Summer Paralympics, the country was represented by only athlete, Pompilio Falconi-Alvarez, who competed in the men’s discus F35/36 event.