Rio bid to have stand at international event in Berlin

Rio, 10 July 2009 – Rio 2016 plans to have the same standards for the Paralympic and Olympic Games, with the two events organized in an integrated manner. Tomorrow, representatives of Rio de Janeiro’s bid will be in Berlin to participate in an international celebration of Paralympic Day. The event will take place at Brandenburg Gate, one of the main landmarks of Berlin, and will feature sports competitions, talks and film and photo exhibitions.

Rio’s bid will have a stand at the event to promote its plans for the Paralympic Games. Rio 2016 will follow the successful model used for the Rio 2007 Parapan American Games, considered by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Americas Paralympic Committee (APC) as the all-time best. It was the first ever time that the event was held in the same city and using the same facilities as the Pan American Games.

“The Rio 2016 Games will be an inspiring event, showcasing examples of determination, courage and respect. Investments in infrastructure and accessibility regulations will make Rio de Janeiro an even more receptive city. Athletes’ performances will modify society’s perception of people with disabilities,” explained Mário Cilenti, Rio 2016’s international relations director, who will be in Berlin with Andrew Parsons, president of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee.

In order to promote Paralympic sport, Brandenburg Gate will play host to table tennis, long jump and wheelchair basketball competitions. Brazil will be represented by André Luís de Oliveira, who won silver at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games in the 4x100m relay and bronze at the Rio 2007 Parapan American Games in the long jump.

Brazil has participated in all editions of the Paralympic Games held since 1972. The results of the last few Games are a testament to the growth of Paralympic sport in the country: Brazil moved up from 24th rank on the medals table at Sydney 2000 to 14th at Athens 2004 and ninth at Beijing 2008.

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Catherine St-Laurent

Saint-Clair Milesi