#APCTop20 - No.1: Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Latin America’s first Paralympics named greatest moment in Americas Para sport history. 01 Aug 2017
By IPC

"You made the Paralympics your Games, the People’s Games, and we will forever cherish our time spent with you."

As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Americas Paralympic Committee today (1 August), the greatest moment in the history of the APC is revealed.

Rio 2016 was Latin America’s first Paralympic Games, the best ever in terms of athletic performance, the second biggest in terms of paying ticket holders and an obvious choice for the top spot in the Americas Paralympic Committee’s (APC) top 20 moments in history.

“Marvellous Cariocas, you warmly embraced these Games and took the athletes to your hearts. You made the Paralympics your Games, the People’s Games, and we will forever cherish our time spent with you,” said International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Sir Philip Craven at the Closing Ceremony at the iconic Maracana Stadium.

The 2016 Paralympics attracted 2.15 million spectators, reached close to one billion through the IPC’s digital media, were the most broadcasted in history and were covered across different media outlets in a record 154 countries.

Iran’s Paralympic champion archer Zahra Nemati, who competed at the Olympics as well, said: “The people of Brazil have been very kind to me during the Olympics and the Paralympics.

“They have been really nice and special the way they treated me. All I have been trying to do is use this energy I have been getting from them to put it in my sport."

Rio 2016 featured 22 sports, two more than at London 2012, with canoe and triathlon making their Paralympic debut. A total of 4,328 athletes from 159 countries, plus an Independent Paralympic Athletes Team, competed. A record 1,670 female athletes participated.

“Rio 2016 was an unforgettable experience for me. I could even hear the people cheering for me when I was underwater. It was incredible,” said Brazil’s most decorated Paralympian and swimming legend Daniel Dias.

China topped the medals table for a fourth consecutive Paralympics, followed by Great Britain, Ukraine, USA and Australia, who complete the top-five. A total of 83 countries won at least one medal, the most in Paralympic history.

Cape Verde, Mozambique, Qatar and Uganda won their maiden Paralympic medals. At the same time, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Uzbekistan and Vietnam took top honours for the first time.

Belarus’ swimmer Ihar Boki left Rio as the Games’ most decorated athlete with six golds and one bronze. On the track, USA’s Tatyana McFadden sealed four golds and two silvers. In powerlifting, Iran’s Siamand Rahman made history by becoming the first Paralympian to lift over 300kg.

Also, Great Britain’s Sarah Storey and New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe became the most decorated Paralympic athletes from their countries, in Rio.