Nepal is represented at Rio 2016 by swimmer Kunwar Laxmi and track and field athlete Bikram Rana, who are both hoping to raise awareness of Para sports in their countries and showcase what people with impairment are capable of doing.
Laxmi, 27, will be competing in the women’s 100m freestyle S6 on 17 September, while Rana, the 35-year-old sprinter, will take part in the men’s 100m T11.
“I want to set new personal bests in Rio because I understand the competition is very high and it will be hard for me to reach a podium,” said Laxmi.
“But what is most important to me is that through our performances we will be able to show millions of people in Nepal that it does not matter if you have an impairment or not, you can still be active within society and a useful individual.”
At 16-years-old, Laxmi climbed a tree to get some leaves to feed the animals in her farm, but fell and injured her spinal cord.
“Swimming was a way of rehabilitation at first, but then I started competing and have not stopped since,” she said.
This is going to be Rana’s second Paralympic Games after he competed at London 2012, where he could not advance into the finals of the 100m and 200m T11.
“London 2012 was an amazing experience for me, not only because I had the opportunity to participate in the world’s biggest Para sport event but also because I could meet people from around the world,” he said.
“In Rio, I seek to perform even better and hopefully qualify for the next round.”
Rana lost his sight 13 years ago when a bomb exploded next to him while he was serving with the Nepalese army.
“I took up athletics when I was little after a coach saw how fast I was and encouraged me to start training harder,” he said.
“I continued even after turning blind because I love the sport and believe other people can get inspired and see that nothing can stop them from doing what they want.”
Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).
The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.
Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.
Visa International is the exclusive payment card and the official payment system for the Paralympic Games.