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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The 2016 Paralympic Games

Logo+of+the+2016%26%23160%3BParalympics+taking+place+in+Rio+Brazil

Logo of the 2016 Paralympics taking place in Rio Brazil

It has been three weeks since the closing of the Summer Olympics; the prestigious games transfixed a global audience of billions. On Sept. 7, Rio de Janeiro once again opened wide arms as they welcomed audience members to watch the Paralympic Games, held in the Maracanã Stadium.
The opening ceremony was packed with Paralympians showcasing their incredible talents. To start off, Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham, an American Paralympian, jumped from a massive ramp to perform a front flip in his wheelchair through a giant ring. Carlos Martin, whose right hand is disabled, played the Brazilian national anthem on the piano.
Fitting for this year’s motto— “Um mundo novo,” a new world—161 countries will be participating in this year’s Summer Paralympics. In total, 4300 athletes will compete in over 528 events in 22 different sports. Following its motto, these Summer Paralympics make history, as two additional sports will be added to the event: canoeing and triathlon.
Canoeing is the exact sport that the committee needs, allowing those with physical impairments at all levels to compete. Those competing in this particular sport are put into one of three categories according to the abilities they have. Athletes will then race against one another in kayaks over a 200-meter course, held in the Lagoa Stadium. Six medals will be on the line—three for men and three for women. Although this event just debuted, over 60 athletes will be participating in the event, representing over 20 different countries.
As for the triathlon, paratriathletes must race over three segments to cross the finish line. These three segments are composed of the 750-meter swim, the 20-kilometer bike ride, and the 5-kilometer run. Athletes will start at Fort Copacabana and finish along Avenida Atlântica (Atlantic Avenue). Similar to the canoeing events, athletes are placed in one of five classes based on their abilities, though there will only be six medal event tournaments—three medals for men and three for women.
This Paralympics event most looked forward to is the men’s 100-meter T44. Jarryd Wallace and Jonnie Peacock will be a match to see. Wallace currently holds the 100-meter T44 world record at Toronto 2015 Paralympics with a time of 10.71 seconds. Peacock previously won the 100-meter T44 at the 2012 Paralympics. Another highly anticipated event is the long jump T44, for both men and women, which has rapidly developed in the last few years.
The Paralympic Games will span for 11 days; be sure to check it out on TeamUSA.org/us-paralympics before it’s over.