The Jamaican team to the 2011 Parapan American Games landed at approximately 8:08p.m. Monday night at the Guadalajara International Airport, Mexico, full of confidence and ready to continue the glorious tradition of Jamaica in paralympic international competitions.
The weather was cold but that did not deter the warm handshakes that were exchanged with the Chef de Mission, Christopher Samuda, who was on spot to greet the traveling team of athletes and officials headed by Ajay Kapu, Physiotherapist.
After photo opportunities with some members of the arriving Brazilian and Cuban delegations, the team was whisked in an official bus to the village where members seamlessly concluded the accreditation process and thereafter retired for a good night’s rest.
Jamaica is being represented by six athletes: Tanto Campbell in the men’s discus F54-56; Alphanso Cunningham in the men’s discus F51-53 and javelin F52-53; Sylvia Grant in the women’s discus and javelin F57-58; Kevon Reid in the men’s shot put F54-56; Shane Hudson in the men’s 200m and 400m T46; and David Bascoe in the men’s 400m and 800m T46.
The coaches, Jefferson Davis and Neville Sinclair, who have the enviable distinction of being gold medalists and record holders in field events while representing Jamaica in paralympic competitions, are satisfied with the progress of their charges who they have monitored closely in several rigorous training sessions leading up to the Games.
Guadalajara is the capital of the State of Jalisco and is revered as the birthplace of the most celebrated icons of Mexican identity: charreria, mariachi and tequila. Its architectural beauty is renowned and today it is much more than a cradle of culture as it is a recognised venue for sport in the American Continent.
The Jamaicans will now seek, amidst the pristine beauty of Guadalajara, to write their names in the history book of the Parapan American Games and from all indications the script has already been written.
The words of Chef de Mission Christopher Samuda sums it all up.
“We have toiled against many challenges but thank God He has placed us here in this moment of time and the importance has not escaped our athletes who have made personal sacrifices to bring glory to their country proud”.
The Games open on November 12 at the Telmex Athletics Stadium and will have its closing ceremony there on November 22.