Rio Paralympics 2016: Seven things you need to know

Around 4,350 athletes from more than 160 countries will compete in 528 events in 22 different sports. Photograph:( Getty )

WION New Delhi, India Sep 07, 2016, 12.11 PM (IST) WION Edge
Rio Paralympics 2016, a major international multi-sporting event for people with disabilities, kicked off with a spectacular opening ceremony on September 7 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

The ceremony played true to its event's meaning as American Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham, a wheelchair athlete, jumped from a massive ramp from the Maracana stands and performed a back flip through a giant ring. Rio organisers said that over 1.5 million tickets were sold for the event. 

Here are the seven things that you need to know about the popular sporting event.

What's in the name? 

The 'para' in Paralympics is a Greek prefix meaning 'alongside' or 'parallel to'. Thus, the term Paralympics means 'parallel to Olympics'.

While most of you would be aware of the significance of the Olympics logo, the Paralympics logo is  less familiar. The symbol consists of three agitos (red, blue and green) encircling a single point. These three colours were chosen because they are most widely represented in national flags across the world.

World in a logo

The new Paralympic Symbol (logo) was launched in 2003. It is a symbol in motion, with three Agitos (from the Latin meaning 'I move') encircling a centre point; emphasizing the role that the IPC has of bringing athletes from all corners of the world together and enabling them to compete.

Logo of the Paralympic games

The beginning 

The games began in 1948, but were called the Stoke Mandeville Games at that time. They became the Paralympics only in 1960 and were held in Rome. The first Winter Paralympics took place in 1967.

World's second largest multi-sport event

The Paralympics are the second largest multi-sport event in the world, second to the Olympics.


Exclusive Paralympics sports

Goalball (for the blind and visually-impaired) and Boccia are two sports that are unique to the Paralympics.


Around 4,350 athletes from more than 160 countries will compete in 528 events in 22 different sports. The Paralympics ceremony will see a participation from around 500 professional staff and 2,000 volunteers.

Andrew Hodge waves after winning gold medal in the 100 m event during the 1992 Paralympics.

Key players from South Asia 

The key players from South Asia include Afghanistan's Mohammad Naiem Durani, India's Devendra Jhajaria and Amit Kumar Saroha, Nepal's Bikram Rana and Laxmi Kunwar, Sri Lanka's Anil Prasanna and Pakistan's Haider Ali.

2016 Rio Paralympic Games are to be held from September 7 to September 18 at Rio’s iconic Maracana Stadium.

Contributions by Ashna Mishra

(WION Edge)


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