Panama will host the sporting activity and meeting between athletes from Friday 21 to April 28. More than 800 athletes and 200 coaches will participate in the III Latin American Special Olympics Games that will be inaugurated in the Rommel Fernández stadium of the capital city.
The Panamanian delegation will attend with 174 players and 46 coaches from different parts of the country. The group was training until yesterday in the Hotel Panama, official headquarter of the event.
Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Brazil, Chile, Honduras, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela will join the competition. The delegation of Jamaica will also play as a special guest.
The 21 countries will compete in nine disciplines: athletics, basketball, bowling, bowling, rhythmic gymnastics, swimming, tennis, table tennis and volleyball.
"The mission of the III Latin American Special Olympics Games is to create awareness in the world and lead to the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities," said the organizers in an official statement.
The inaugural ceremony will be held at the Rommel Fernández Stadium, at an event attended by national artists and featuring the presence of the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, and the first Dominican lady, Cándida Montilla.
The first lady, who is the guest of honor of the sporting event, received yesterday the symbolic ball of the encounter of the athletes with Down syndrome, Lorena Frigati and Katherine Carrasco.
The Latin American Special Olympics Games were held for the first time in El Salvador in 2006, and are carried out every four years, in order to improve the comprehensive development of special athletes.