The 2016 Paralympics will kick off in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro tonight, marking the first time the games are held in Southern America.
Rio de Janeiro will inaugurate the fifteenth Summer Paralympic Games this evening, becoming the first Latin American and Southern American city to host them. The 2016 Paralympics will run from September 7 until September 18, over 4000 athletes from 174 will compete in 528 events within 22 sports disciplines.
The Paralympic Games is one of the biggest international multi-sport events, and is dedicated for athletes with disabilities only. The disabilities of participating athletes include impaired muscle power, impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency, leg length difference, short stature, hypertonia, ataxia, athetosis, vision impairment as well as intellectual impairment.
The games first started by a small group of British World War II veterans in 1948, and has grown to become one of the largest international sporting events, and the largest involving people with disabilities.
The 2016 Paralympic Games will share most of its venues with the 2016 Rio Olympics, which concluded few weeks ago. While most games will be held at Barra da Tijuca, which will also host the Olympic Village, the rest will be held in Copacabana Beach, Maracanã and Deodoro.
Qatar will be represented at the 2016 Paralympics by three athlete, Mohammed Rashid A J Al-Kubaisi, Abdulrahman Abdulqadir Abdulrahman and Sara Hamdi Masoud.
Al-Kubaisi will represent Qatar in the Men’s 100m event, Abdulrahman at the Men’s Javelin Throw and Men’s Shot Put, and Masoud at the Women’s Shot Put.
Qatar first participated at the Paralympic Games in 1996, in Atlanta, with only one representing athlete, Salah Al Mulla. The country has participated in all games since, but with small teams, usually of three athletes, and never managed to win any medals. Qatar’s best result was in 2004, When Nasser Al Sahoti secured fifth place in the Javelin F58 category.