Earlier today, it was announced that principle Comité Paralímpico de Portugal sponsor Jogos Santa Casa had awarded 42 Portuguese Olympic and Paralympic competitors with €117,000 worth of scholarships. The money is part of the Portuguese Programa de Preparação Paralímpica Rio 2016 campaign to medal at the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and as part of Preparação Surdolímpica Ancara 2017.
Disability sport athletes who received scholarships included boccia player João Paulo Fernandes, swimmers David Grachat, Gino Caetano and Nelson Lopes, and judoka Joana Santos.
Thirty year old Fernandes won two gold medals at the 2004 Summer Paralympics, and a gold and silver medal at the 2008 Summer Paralympics. S9 classified swimmer Grachat competed in four events at the 2012 Summer Paralympics, with his best performance in the Men’s 100m freestyle S9 where he finished ninth. Caetano swam at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships. S4 classified Lopes competed at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Paralympics and the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships, where he won a bronze in the Men’s 50 metre backstroke. He’s also held the world record in the shortcourse S4 men’s 100 metre backstroke. Santos, who is deaf, is a 2012 world champion in the open category. She is also the only woman amongst disability sport competitors getting scholarships.