Yesterday, the Pan American Sports Organization (ODEPA-PASO) and Americas Paralympic Committee (APC) signed a collaboration agreement during a meeting in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where ODEPA-PASO is currently holding its Annual General Meeting.
The agreement is a key step in the integration of disability sport in the Americas, and bringing Paralympic sport into the Pan American Games movement. It provides for greater cooperation between National Olympic Committees and National Paralympic Committees. APC President Jose Luis Campo gave assurances prior to its signing that the time is right for such cooperation. The agreement mentions that the door is opened, and that ODEPA-PASO events may be open to including disability sporting events in the future. Campo is very happy with the outcomes achieved in the agreement.
Efforts to get such an agreement have been in the works for a while. Campo gave a presentation at the London Olympics encouraging this sort of cooperation, explaining what the IPC – APC is, and examining the situation for disabilities in different countries.
The Americas Paralympic Committee has 26 NPC members, including Comité Paralimpico Argentino, Paralympic Association of Barbados, Bermuda Paralympic Association, Brazilian Paralympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Federacion Paralimpica de Chile, Comité Paralìmpico Colombiano, Comite Paralimpico de Costa Rica, Comité Paralimpico Cubano, Organ. Dominicana de Ciegos Inc., Ecuadorian Paralympic Sport Federation, Comite Paralimpico de El Salvador, Comité Paralimpico Guatemalteco, National Paralympic Committee of Haiti, Honduran Paralympic Committee, Jamaica Paralympic Association, Comite Paralimpico Mexicano, Comité Paralímpico Nicaragüense, Paralympic Committee of Panama, National Paralympic Committee Peru, Comite Paralimpico de Puerto Rico, National Paralympic Committee of Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago Paralympic Committee, US Paralympics – United States Olympic Committee, Uruguayan Paralympic Committee, and Comité Paralimpico Venezolano. It is affiliated with the International Paralympic Committee.
Pan American Sports Organization represents 41 NOCs from Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Virgin Islands. It is affiliated with four different regional sporting event organizations, including ODESUR, CASCO, ORDECA and ODEBO.