More than 4,400 athletes from 160 countries and regions will compete at the Rio Paralympic Games, which officially opened at the Maracana Stadium on Wednesday.
Of the 4,432 athletes registered for the September 7-18 Games, a record 1,621 are women – 12 per cent more than London four years ago and more than double the number that participated in Atlanta 20 years ago.
The high participation level comes despite the late withdrawals of Comoros and Liberia, and the absence of Russia. IPC president Philip Craven said organisers had overcome many obstacles, such as budget cuts and slow early ticket sales amid Brazil’s worst recession in decades.
Craven said that, The feeling coming out of the athletes village is that athletes are happy. The thing to remember is athletes perform best when they are happy and I only saw happy athletes in the village, and that’s all right for me. And added that These are going to be the people’s Games. You cannot come to a more passionate country for sport, but you’ve got to engage with the hearts
1,500 athletes would be tested for doping during the Rio Paralympics. The Games will be broadcast to 154 countries and regions – 39 more than in London.