Rio Paralympics a catalyst for change: IPC chief

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Rio de Janeiro, Sep 7 (IANS) The 2016 Paralympic Games here will transform the way South Americans view disabilities, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president Philip Craven has said.

On Monday, marking one year until the first Paralympics in South America, Craven said the Games are on target to be the biggest in history, reports Xinhua.

“Our aim is to build on the success of London 2012 and Sochi 2014, and so far the signs look extremely good,” Craven told

“We have more broadcasters than ever before signed up to cover the Games and we are fully confident we will break the four billion cumulative TV audience figure for the first time.”

According to the organisers, some 4,350 athletes from 178 countries and regions will compete in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

To mark the one-year-out milestone, Rio will stage a two-day festival with elite sports events, cultural and educational activities, music, dance and workshops at the Rodrigo de Freitas lake.

It will feature a sprint race between top para-athletes across all classes and a football match between the visually impaired five-a-side teams of Brazil and Argentina.

Craven added: “The Paralympic Games have developed a strong reputation for being the world’s number one sporting event for driving social change and inclusion. The Rio 2016 Games will change how an entire continent views and thinks about disability whilst the event will act as a catalyst to improving accessibility.”

Monday will also mark the first day of ticket sales to Brazilian residents. Fans from around the world may also purchase tickets by contacting authorised ticket resellers in their regions. Rio 2016 will publish a list of approved resellers later this month.

In total, there will be 3.3 million tickets for the Paralympic Games, half a million more than London 2012. Prices start at 10 Brazilian reais ($2.60).

Rio 2016 president Carlos Arthur Nuzman said: “One year from now, at the Maracana Stadium, we will celebrate the opening of the first Paralympic Games to be staged in South America.

“We are making the final preparations to host the best Paralympic athletes on the planet. They will produce unforgettable moments of sporting excellence in Rio and I am certain that all Brazilians will welcome them with the warmth and hospitality that we are famous for around the world.”

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