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Rio 2016 Paralympics Games officially underway after Opening Ceremony at Maracana Stadium

The waiting is over for ParalympicsGB athletes to take centre stage as the 15th summer Paralympic Games officially got underway following the Opening Ceremony at the famous Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro!.

Mr Michel Temer, the acting President of the Republic of Brazil, officially opened the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games during a colourful and vibrant ceremony demonstrating the very best of Brazilian sport and culture.

An estimated 4,350 athletes from more than 160 countries are set to compete in 528 medal events across 22 sports over the next 11 days of sporting action. ParalympicsGB have a 264-strong team in Brazil with ten-time Paralympic equestrian champion and flag bearer Lee Pearson leading the British contingent into the stadium on Wednesday evening.

Speaking afterwards Pearson said: “That was one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life. I am a proud Brit and I’m even more proud now after leading the ParalympicsGB athletes out. We had such good banter before coming into the stadium, they were all so supportive and lovely.

Representatives from 14 of the 19 sports that ParalympicsGB will contest in Rio took part in the opening ceremony and ParalympicsGB have finished in the top three in the medal table at the last four Paralympic Games; with a target of winning 121 medals at Rio 2016. Of the team, 50 per cent are competing at their first Games and 72 per cent at their maiden away Paralympics. Day one of Rio 2016 sees ParalympicsGB athletes in action across seven sports: shooting, table tennis, wheelchair basketball, swimming, cycling, football 7-a-side and athletics.

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