“The Games had great coverage and gave the Paralympic Movement a lot of positive exposure. This is definitely what made the Games so special.”
One year ago, the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games opened in fantastic style with a spectacular ceremony at the mythical Maracana stadium. Eleven action-packed days full of excitement followed, with 2.15 million spectators making this Games the People’s Games.
“What I especially remember about the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games was the atmosphere, it was just unbelievable,” said Brazilian swimmer Phelipe Rodrigues. “Not just between athletes but also with spectators from all around the world.”
Rio 2016 was the most widely broadcast Paralympics in history, covered by television, radio and online outlets in a record 154 countries, with close to one billion people reached on social media.
“The Games had great coverage and gave the Paralympic Movement a lot of positive exposure. This is definitely what made the Games so special,” added Rodrigues, who left Rio 2016 with two silvers and two bronze.
“Also, everyone, including volunteers and staff, was working as a team. Everyone was so friendly and was enjoying the Games so much that you could never see a grumpy person.
“And even though I thought we would have some issues with the organisation, we did not.”
In just a few weeks, Rodrigues is hoping to claim his first world title at Mexico City 2017. “After Rio 2016, I have high expectations for the next events,” he said.
“This year’s Worlds will be a challenge, not just because of my strong opponents but because of the altitude. I have never raced in such altitude before.”
Rodrigues will swim the men’s 100m butterfly S10, and the 50m and 100m freestyle S10. “My goals are to set a personal best in all my events. I have been swimming very close to my best time and hope to achieve that in Mexico City.”
More information can be found on Mexico City 2017’s website.