Rio Paralympics 2016: Checkout the Highlights of the Opening Ceremony

The After Party has begun. The XV Paralympic Games in Rio opened with a feat to defy expectations in a carnival atmosphere at the Maracana Stadium.

And there was an audible gasp in the 78,000-seat stadium as someone in a wheelchair propelled themselves down a six-storey high ramp and through a hoop.

The 2016 Paralympic Games opened in Rio de Janeiro to a backdrop of colour, music and a powerful message of inclusivity.

Aaron 'Wheelz' Fotheringham

Thousands of performers were involved either side of the two-hour procession of competing countries at the Maracana on Wednesday.

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.

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The Brazilian national anthem was played on the piano by Carlos Martin, whose right hand is severely disabled, before the parade of athletes.

Paralympics

One of the most striking parts of the ceremony was when bright lights temporarily ‘blinded’ the crowd to try and show spectators the reality Paralympic athletes face.

This forced them to rely on other senses such as hearing.

Finally the flame was lit in driving rain, in front of a cheering crowd.

 

See Photos:

Lee Pearson

Belarus

Opening ceremony

Opening ceremony

Flame

Flame

Flame

Flame

Flame

Paralympic flag

Logo

Craven

Nuzman

flags

Turkmenistan

Syria

New Zealand

Flags

Myanmar

Nicaragua

Nigeria

Malta

GB

GB

GB

Slovenia

Colombia

Collage

China

Qatar

Kazakhstan

Central African Republic

Chile

Australia

 

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