2016 Summer Paralympics
The 2016 Summer Paralympics (Brazilian Portuguese: Jogos Paralímpicos de Verão de 2016), the 15th Summer Paralympic Games, were a major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympic Committee, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 7 September to 18 September 2016. The Games marked the first time a Latin American and South American city hosted the event, the second Southern Hemisphere city and nation, the first one being the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney, and also the first time a Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) country hosted the event. These Games saw the introduction of two new sports to the Paralympic program: canoeing and the paratriathlon. The lead-up to these Paralympics were met with financial shortcomings attributed to tepid sponsor interest and ticket sales, which resulted in cuts to volunteer staffing and transport, the re-location of events and the partial deconstruction of the Deodoro venue cluster. However, ticket sales began to increase as the Games drew nearer, and over 2 million tickets were sold in total—overtaking Beijing 2008 as the second-most-attended Paralympic Games on record. The Russian doping scandal also affected these Paralympics; unlike the Olympics, which selectively allowed Russian athletes to participate, the entire Russian team was banned from the Paralympics. A team of two refugee athletes also participated in Rio, "hosted" by the Greek and American Paralympic Committees. For the fourth consecutive Summer Paralympics, China topped the medal table, winning 107 gold medals, while Georgia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam won their first ever Paralympic gold medals. For the first time in Paralympic history, and the first time in the Olympics or Paralympics since 1960, an athlete—Iranian cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad—died during competition.
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