- He instructed CONADE to give Paralympians the same financial recognition as conventional sportspersons.
- He instructed the SEP and CONADE to create a scheme whereby coaches and multidisciplinary teams could also have support, to provide them with certainty and motivation.
- President Enrique Peña Nieto today thanked the Mexican delegation and the Paralympic medalists who participated in Rio de Janeiro 2016 on their remarkable performance in these Olympics, “For honoring Mexico’s name and representing us with great dignity”.
In the Adolfo López Mateos hall of the official residence of Los Pinos, where he chatted with members of the Mexican Paralympic delegation, the Mexican president said that its 69 members participated in nine disciplines and, “Did so with great courage, commitment and frankly very meritorious and satisfactory results for our country”.
He said that he is honored, “To be able to convey the recognition and congratulations of all of Mexican society for the great struggle, perseverance, courage and discipline each of you has had, by being part of this delegation which represented us in the Rio 2016 Paralympics and, above all, for having scored major victories”.
He said that 15 medals were obtained: four gold, two silver and nine bronze. Forty percent of the members of the delegation were in the top five places in the competitions in which they participated, and 75 percent were in the top eight places in all competitions.
President Peña Nieto said that he has instructed the Director of the National Commission of Physical Culture and Sport (CONADE), “to ensure that, as happens in conventional sport, but used not to be the case for Paralympic sport, we provide recognition for all members of the delegations”. He noted that this will be the same financial recognition as exists in conventional sport.
“Let us reward the effort and achievement that our athletes, and those behind them, have achieved by representing our country in an extremely dignified fashion,” he said. He said that athletes have the president’s support and backing and that his government is committed to sport.
He also declared that he has instructed the Secretary of Public Education and the Director of CONADE to ensure that coaches, multidisciplinary teams and Paralympian sportspersons are given greater support.
“Let us devise a scheme that will provide them certainty so that they are motivated to move forward and continue building a success story,” he explained.
The resident said that, “Today we are making efforts in the government, which is not solely but mainly responsible for ensuring that the sports talents in our country achieves greater participation and better training, and better results in the sports competitions in which it takes part”.
He said certainly, after having listened to them, “Sports in Mexico will undoubtedly have to be restructured”. "Today we have learned that the sports world is changing and being restructured and modernized”.
He declared: "We must innovate, I think it is part of our challenge to innovate in the way we train our athletes”. He noted that, “We are already doing so in CONADE and the Public Education Secretariat”.
He said that knowledge and the application of science and research must also be at the service of sport to achieve better results.
It is important, he said, “For this not only to be the area of responsibility of sport, but of everything that has to do with education and training, to teach what is required and have hothouses of talents , and potential talents that will represent Mexico at various sporting competitions”.
The president expressed his thanks for the testimonials of recognition of the Mexican delegation for the support they have received from the government and also congratulated the families of the athletes, coaches, trainers, doctors and specialists and all who make up the multidisciplinary groups involved in the training and preparation of athletes.
YOU ARE GREAT ATHLETES WHO HAVE HONORED MEXICO’S NAME: ALFREDO CASTILLO
Alfredo Castillo Cervantes, Director General of CONADE said that all members of the Mexican delegation who participated in the Paralympics in Rio are great athletes, who have honored Mexico’s name. "We are very proud of all of you,” he said.
He said that they made an extraordinary effort. “Virtually everyone beat their own personal record in these games,” he said, noting that this is not achieved in four months, but through work and great dedication and by separating conventional from adapted sport.
He said that, in keeping with the instructions of the president and the Public Education secretary, the budget has been adjusted so that the 14 medalists and their coaches have the same financial incentives as those in conventional sport.
WE FEEL WE HAVE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S FULL SUPPORT: PARALYMPIANS
On behalf of the members of the delegation,100 and 400 meter medalist Edgar thanked President Enrique Peña Nieto for, “All the support we've had,” and said that the result obtained, with the medals they won for Mexico, “Is the result of several years’ work”.
He explained that, “We feel the federal government’s full support,” through CONADE. This support, he added, “Is unprecedented”.
The president explained that, “Although those who wear the medals are athletes, there is a very important multidisciplinary team behind us; I would also like to thank all of them: doctors, psychiatrists, the technical team, trainers”.
He asked President Peña Nieto to ensure that the financial support continues. “Several members of the delegation are young people who require full support, and there will undoubtedly be very important results in four years’ time,” he said.
The president said that, “Mexico is undoubtedly capable and certainly has very great potential, and with the support you have given us, we will undoubtedly have excellent results in the coming years”.
Coach Fernando Gutiérrez Vélez thanked President Enrique Peña Nieto because, “This administration has given us the greatest support we have ever been able to achieve for attaining a common goal,” and said that this support, “Was crucial to achieving the objectives we achieved through hard work”.
Shot putter Ángeles Ortiz told President Peña Nieto that education, culture and sport is what strengthens a country, and urged CONADE to provide a structure for adapted sports like the one for conventional sport.
Lenia Ruvalcaba, who won gold in judo, asked President Zedillo, “Not to ignore the athletes who did not win medals. Scholarships could help them train and also compete in Tokyo 2020”.
Meanwhile, shot putter Rebeca Valenzuela who won bronze in Rio, emphasized the importance of a trainer for athletes, which is why, she said, they should receive incentives and wages.
Adrián Elías, an assistant to the delegation, recommended linking academia to the sports world. “CONACyT so far has no scholarships for professionals who study issues related to sports, whereas other countries have professionals who with doctoral studies in sport,” he said.
Powerlifter Perla Patricia Bárcenas also suggested the creation of Citizen Participation Committees, as provided for by the law, which in this case would be Sports Committees.
Javelin thrower Luis Alberto Zepeda called for grants to be brought into line with those of conventional athletes and coaches.
Eduardo Ávila and Alicia Ibarra stated that if a structure for Paralympic sport is created, in four years’ time, they won't just win 15 medals.