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Rio Paralympics 2016: Brazil President Booed During Opening Ceremony

Brazilian president Michel Temer was booed as the 2016 Paralympic Games opened in Rio de Janeiro to a backdrop of colour and music.

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

Competition begins on Thursday, when Great Britain’s Dame Sarah Storey can become the most successful female Paralympian.

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.

The Brazilian national anthem was played on the piano by Carlos Martin, whose right hand is severely disabled, before the parade of athletes, with the loudest cheer of the night reserved for competitors from the host nation.

Each nation carried a piece of a jigsaw, which bore the name of their country on one side and faces of competing athletes on the other.

Once completed, the jigsaw was adorned by the faces of every competitor at the 2016 Games. All of the faces came together to form a beating heart, which began beating in time to the music.

One of the most striking parts of the ceremony was when bright lights temporarily ‘blinded’ the crowd to try to show spectators the reality Paralympic athletes face, forcing them to rely on other senses such as hearing.

Rio 2016 organising committee president Carlos Nuzman was booed during his speech, as was President Temer a short while later.

The South American country has been beset by political unrest and, just 24 hours earlier, former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff left her official residence for the last time following her impeachment and removal from office.

Nuzman did manage to finish his speech, which spoke of building a “new world, more accessible to all and with no obstacles”. Temer’s role was brief as he officially opened the Games and handed over to more performers.

Source:BBC

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