Paralympic Games
7-18 September

The 10 must watch events of Rio 2016

A guide to the hottest tickets at the upcoming Paralympic Games as the world’s best Para athletes prepare to inspire and excite the world. 05 Sep 2016
Matt Stutzman competes at London 2012

American archer Matt Stutzman at the Royal Artillery Barracks.

ⒸMarcus Hartmann

1.Opening Ceremony

Wednesday’s spectacular Opening Ceremony in the Maracana Stadium will be the perfect start to Latin America’s first Paralympic Games.

One of the stars of the show will be US snowboarder and Paralympic bronze medallist Amy Purdy.

She will showcase the skills that propelled her to global attention when she competed in the TV show “Dancing with the Stars”. Speculation is mounting on who will light the Paralympic Cauldron.

2.World’s fastest Paralympians in action

Friday night (9 September) at the Olympic Stadium will see many of the world’s fastest Paralympians in action and world records look set to be broken.

The world’s fastest female Paralympian, Omara Durand of Cuba, will be in action over 100m – as will US wheelchair racer Tatyana McFadden, who will start her campaign to win a record seven gold medals.

At London 2012, the men’s 100m T44 was THE race and if Great Britain’s Jonnie Peacock wants to retain his Paralympic title he will most likely have to break the world record to beat the USA’s Jarryd Wallace and Brazil’s Alan Fonteles Oliveira.

The home crowd will also be hoping there is a repeat of the all-Brazilian podium from four years ago when Terezinha Guilhermina and her compatriots take on the 100m T11.

3.The Armless Archer goes for gold

On Wednesday (14 September) at Rio’s iconic Sambódromo, US archer Matt Stutzman will go for gold in the men’s individual compound open having won silver at London 2012.

Stutzman holds the world record for the furthest accurate distance in men’s archery, but what makes his performances even more remarkable is the fact he has no arms.

He shoots arrows using only using his feet and his mouth, and is one of the most incredible Paralympians to watch live.

4.Can the world’s strongest Paralympian lift over 300kg?

Siamand Rahman is the world’s strongest Paralympian and, on Monday 14 September at the Riocentro – Pavillion 2, the Iranian will aim to become the first man to ever lift over 300kg.

That’s the equivalent of lifting two baby elephants.

5.Brazil aim for a fourth successive gold in football 5-a-side

The host nation erupted with joy after a Neymar penalty secured gold during the Olympics and it can be confident of further success with Brazil’s blind football team chasing a fourth successive Paralympic gold.

Led by the superstars of Jefinho, who is known as the Paralympic Pele, and Ricardinho, the team will have to be wary of the threat posed by arch rivals Argentina.

6.Sitting volleyball

Brazilians are not just passionate about football, but crazy about volleyball too – and Brazil’s men’s sitting volleyball team stand a great chance of making the podium.

The host nation should easily negotiate Pool A, which features Germany, Egypt and the USA, and will then need all the home support they can get to overcome the likes of former Paralympic champions Iran and current world and Paralympic champions Bosnia and Herzegovina in the knockout stages.

7.Dias aims to make history

Daniel Dias is Brazil’s most decorated Paralympian having won 10 gold, four silver and one bronze medal since making his Paralympic debut in 2008.

The 28-year-old, who currently ranks 15th in the all-time list of male Paralympic medal winners, is competing in nine events at Rio 2016.

Should he win seven golds, like he did at last year’s World Championships, then he could become the most successful male Paralympian of all-time.

8.Brazil aim for double judo gold

Williams Araujo, the world number one in the men’s +100kg class, will aim to win Brazil’s first Paralympic gold in judo since the Beijing 2008 Paralympics when he competes on Saturday (10 September) at Carioca Arena 3.

The 2014 world bronze medallist will also be hoping his teammate Alana Maldonado can top the podium in the women’s -70kg class.

9.Football 7-a-side

Brazil are not just great at football 5-a-side, they are medal contenders in football 7-a-side – a sport for athletes with co-ordination impairments – as well.

In Jan Francisco Brito da Costa the world bronze medallists boast the world’s best player, and they will be optimistic of beating world and Paralympic silver medallists Ukraine to gold.

10.Closing Ceremony

On Sunday 18 September, the 60-day festival of sport that has seen Brazil stage both the Olympic and Paralympic Games will come to an end with the Closing Ceremony at the Maracana Stadium.

Four years ago Coldplay, Rihanna and Jay Z brought the curtain down on the London 2012 Paralympics, and a number of surprises are in store for the final act of Rio 2016.