What really helped propel the Parapan American Games was the decision that it should be used as a qualifying event for the Paralympics, meaning the competition was given an extra edge. Those competing knew that a place at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games was at stake.
In 2003, the Pan Am Games host the Dominican Republic was unable to host the Parapan American Games and the city of Mar del Plata, Argentina stepped in. Of the back of the success in Mexico City, for the second edition the scope of the Games widened. A total of 1,500 athletes from 28 countries (including five countries from other continents included to fulfill requirements for classification purposes) competed in nine sports.
The Rio 2007 Parapan American Games were hailed as a great success and as a milestone for the history of the Paralympic Movement in the Americas.
A total of 1,150 athletes from 25 countries competed in ten sports. Rio was the first Games to use just one organizing committee for both the Pan and Parapan American Games. The athletes' village used during the Parapan Am Games was the same one as in the Pan Am Games, bringing with it a renewed sense of prestige for the Parapan Am Games. As hosts, Brazil had the largest delegation with 240 athletes. They didn't do too badly either with a final haul of 228 medals.
The Parapan American Games Guadalajara in November 2011 will continue the trend that started in Rio of housing the Parapan athletes in the same athletes' village as the Pan American Games athletes.
For this year's edition, an estimated 1,500 athletes will compete in 13 different sports. Twenty-six countries will be present for the latest chapter in the success story that is the Parapan American Games.