The 2016 Summer Paralympics, which marks the 15th edition of the global sport showpiece for athletes with disabilities, officially commenced in Rio de Janeiro yesterday and will run until the September 18 - making it the first Summer Paralympic Games to be held in the host city's wintertime.
The opening ceremony began with American Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham, in a wheelchair, jumping from a massive ramp from the Maracana stands and performing a back flip through a giant ring. Then the joyous rhythms of samba singers and a carnivalesque reproduction of a Rio beach scene got them dancing.
Blind, missing limbs, or partially paralyzed, more than 4,300 of the world's toughest and most competitive disabled paraded ahead of 11 days of contests.
The lead-up to this year's Paralympics was met with major financial issues in Brazil though that were attributed mainly to tepid sponsor interest and poor ticket sales.
A notable absentee was International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.
Bach is due at a mourning ceremony in Berlin for the late West German president Walter Scheel.
Russian Federation were excluded from the event by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) because of a state-sponsored sports doping program.
Police investigators said they wanted to speak with Bach about email exchanges he had with Hickey related to ticket allocations for Ireland. Rio police were to give a press conference on the matter Thursday.
"I would like to stress that this is the stance of our government, of the president and the president of our Paralympic committee". The ruling came on the heels of a report delivered earlier in the summer by the Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Caught in political and economic crises, Rio 2016 organizers have skimped as far as they can on food, transport and accommodation.
Empty seats and half-empty stadiums was one of the headlines the Olympic Games could never quite escape from. "We won't forget this", Lukin said. The goal is 2.4 million.
He lost his leg during a bombing in Syria and was elated when was revealed as flag bearer for the International Paralympics Athletes team.
The Games will see Javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia, the country's first Paralympic gold medallist (Athens 2004), competing for his second medal.