Born in Panama in 1979, Francisco Cedeño has always had an admiration for sports, particularly basketball and fitness. A car accident in 2003 resulted in Francisco suffering a spinal cord injury to the T10-T11. "From that moment I had start using a wheelchair. But it's thanks to my wheelchair that I can carry on doing my every day activities". Following his accident, Francisco started his second chance at life - inspiring and motivating others in the same or similar condition through sport.
"I had the opportunity to attend in the Pan-American Games 2007 in Rio. Something caught my attention seeing the other athletes participating - watching their physical posture and that's when I became interested in this athletics. It provides great fitness, which is important for me to improve my posture muscles and strengthens me for better balance. I may have no control of my legs, but this sport has given me greater security and better posture. It has become my life, it's my passion. Every day it forces me to be better".
Francisco has since had the opportunity to represent Panama on multiple occasions in handball and wheelchair basketball, but it's in shot-put and javelin where Francisco is currently concentrating to achieve his next goal in representing his country. "I'm passionate about competing. To improve and be amongst the best and represent Panama in front of the world".
With a dream to also promote disabled sport in Panama, Francisco is studying for a career in physical education and personal training, majoring in adapted sports. "Disabled sport in Panama is very difficult. You have to work and train so hard, especially if you're in a wheelchair, the challenge is even more so. There are so few accessible training facilities and those that are available are very remote. For 36 years, I live every day trying to be better. Improving my attitude to life and appreciating all of the new opportunities I have. It's my desire to increase exposure of adapted sports in Panama. Thank God I have the opportunity to work, study and practice my discipline".