Four Medalists from the Para Pan American Games in Santiago Chile, including Yushae De Silva-Andrade trust the social impact that just one medal can have.
Guatemala, Panama, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico have earned only one medal in the Santiago 2023 Parapan American Games so far. Nevertheless, the athletes who gave those podium-rewarded performances trust that even just one medal could be enough to help create change.
Without hesitation, Gersson Mejía, Rey Dimas, De Silva-Andrade, and Carmelo Rivera, respectively, believe in the power of one.
De Silva-Andrade, from Bermuda, won a silver medal in boccia. She shared that she was overwhelmed and emotional by the response of the crowd during her event, which is the reason why she expects to convince more people to reach out to Para Sports soon.
Part of a delegation with only three athletes, she wants more of them to experience what just happened to her. “I hope to inspire the future generation of athletes from my country”, she firmly said.
De Silva-Andrade commented that “in the last few years, support for the disabled in Bermuda has grown significantly. Steady progress has been made and it is more visible and active in the community”. Nevertheless, she added that room for improvement is always there.
Her disability is cerebral palsy (CP), which affects her mobility, so she uses a wheelchair for transportation. She got into Boccia after seeing it in a sports expo, in high school, 15 years ago. She is currently 30.
Guatemala, Panama, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico they located between the 17th and 20th position in the medal table, among the 31 nations that participated in the Parapan-American Games.