“I’ve had some amazing days here, starting on Monday with the Paralympic festival."
A special train celebrating the one year until the Paralympic Games milestone and the Rio 2016 culture programme made its first journey on Friday (11 September) with a special guest on board.
Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), travelled from Rio de Janeiro’s Central Station to the Maracanã Stadium, and back, on the Celebrate Literature train, one of five that have been decorated with images of Paralympic stars and the words of Brazilian literary figures.
The trains will operate on the Deodoro line, which during the Games will help transport fans to Deodoro Olympic Park, and will promote Brazilian Paralympians to the public. Among those featured are Raissa Machado (athletics), Talisson Glock (swimming), Natália Mayara (wheelchair tennis), Felipe Gomes (athletics), Ricardinho (football 5-a-side) and Maciel Santos (boccia).
Around the images are phrases and poems by Machado de Assis and José de Alencar. One quote from De Alencar reads: “Success is born of desire, determination and persistence.” A contribution from De Assis translates as: “Adapting yourself to the circumstances of the time makes men skillful and women esteemed.”
Earlier in the day, Sir Philip, who has been in Rio all week for the one-year-to-go Paralympic celebrations, visited the Rio 2016 headquarters and spoke with local media. Having already said he expects the Rio 2016 Games to be a record-breaking success – attracting more athletes, countries, spectators and TV viewers than ever before – he reiterated his vision that the event would inspire the world.
“I’ve had some amazing days here, starting on Monday with the Paralympic festival and great performances on that wonderful track,” he said. “I’ve been at the broadcasters meeting and that went really well. We’ll have more TV broadcasters than ever before covering these Games and our vision is to inspire and excite the world.”