Para-athletes of Team Rio were honoured by Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes on Tuesday (15 September) at the City Palace for the 29 medals they won at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games.
Also attending the ceremony, together with the athletes and Mayor, was IPC President Sir Philip Craven, Brazilian Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons, the executive secretary of city government Pedro Paulo Teixeira, and Georgette Vidor, municipal secretary for people with a disability.
"It is very gratifying to be here before these para-athletes of Team Rio. I'm sure they will have a key role in the Brazilian participation in the Paralympic Games next year, which will take place here in Rio de Janeiro," said Parsons.
"I would like to congratulate the athletes of Team Rio. It is an initiative that started four years ago and has already given us much success at the Paralympic Games and even more joy at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games. I am very proud of your results and your dedication," said Mayor Eduardo Paes.
In addition to the ceremony for athletes, the City Government also announced a number of plans to make Rio more accessible ahead of the Paralympic Games. This includes furthering accessibility at 10 tourist attractions including Sugar Loaf, Copacabana Beach and Corcovado, the mountain that features the Christ the Redeemer statue.
"Being in Rio de Janeiro is amazing and I can see wonderful things. We have heard a lot about the city’s accessibility in recent times, but we saw today that the work is being done and that in six months, Rio de Janeiro will be a Paralympic city and an Olympic city," said Sir Philip Craven.
Project Time Rio consists of supporting 21 athletes and four guides through a partnership of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee and Rio's City Hall. The investment aims to support athletes in preparation for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, which will take place between 7 and 18 September 2016.