Paralympic Games
7-18 September

Rio 2016 – Top 10 Para athletics quotes

Find out the best quotes from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. 27 Sep 2016
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Silvania Costa de Oliveira of Brazil competes in Women's Long Jump

Silvania Costa de Oliveira of Brazil competes in Women's Long Jump

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"My dream was to win the World Championships and I did it. So I said my next dream was to win the Paralympics. So what's my next dream? It is sleeping."

The 2016 Paralympic Games may be behind us, but they are far from forgotten. Here’s our pick of the best quotes from 11 days of memorable Para athletics action in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, revealing the joy, relief - and sometimes disbelief – that winning Paralympic gold brings.

1. Brazilian home favourite Daniel Martins was cheered all the way round the track as he won the men’s 400m T20 in world record time (47.22).

"My dream was to win the World Championships and I did it. So I said my next dream was to win the Paralympics. So what's my next dream? It is sleeping."

2. Belgium’s Peter Genyn made it double gold at Rio 2016 with victory in the men’s 400m T51 to add to his 100m T51 title.

"It's been amazing. I've got 260 e-mails, Facebook has exploded and I still see messages I haven't seen yet. I get text messages from people I didn't even know had my phone number. I can't really grasp it.

"My entire town has hung up about 100 flags everywhere. It's crazy back home. Our King (Philippe of Belgium) called me to congratulate me and said that the country is proud. I wasn't really expecting that so it was nice. He was very polite.”

3. Irish sprint star Jason Smyth - the world’s fastest Paralympian - notched up his third consecutive Paralympic 100m T13 title.

“It never gets tiring coming to Paralympic Games and crossing the line first. It is like a fairytale that just doesn't seem to end, each time I come out.”

4. South Africa’s Charl du Toit sprinted past Egyptian Mostafa Mohamed to win the men’s 100m T37.

"My Dad always taught me the key to success is to enjoy what you do and you'll never work a day in your life. I love athletics, I love doing this, and my uncle passed away two weeks ago and I promised him I'd give him a smile."

5. Cuba’s triple gold medallist Omara Durand won 100m, 200m and 400m T12 gold. After the 200m, she dedicated her win to her teammate Yunidis Castillo, who pulled up injured in the 100m T47.

"This medal is mainly for Yunidis Castillo. Yesterday she suffered a serious injury and I know that it is a bad moment for her now. It has happened to me before so I know how she feels.

"We are all humans, we spend almost all our career together so when a teammate suffers, I suffer too."

6. Brazil’s Petrucio Ferreira clocked a new world record (10.67) in the men’s 100m T47 heats before going on to win gold.

“I came here today to give my best and go into the final. But at the time I entered the stadium and I saw it was packed, and the supporters shouting, suddenly my legs became so happy and they ran alone - and I went behind them.”

7. Poland’s Maciej Lepiato won the men’s high jump T44 with a new world record (2.19m).

“The first day after London I was thinking about Rio, today I’m thinking about Tokyo.”

8. Brazil’s Silvania Costa de Oliveira won gold in a spectacular women’s long jump T11 – her brother won the men’s event eight days earlier; both won with their final jump of the competition.

"I think my mother might have got a heart attack!

"Since August I've felt the great the support from the Brazilian people and this victory is like a cake where everyone who contributed with an ingredient can join the celebration party."

9. The USA’s David Blair returned to track and field last year after a 16-year break from sport. He won discus F44 gold with a new world record (64.11m).

“It’s better late than never. When I found out about it (the opportunity to compete in Para athletics) I felt like it was too late, but I’ve got a very good coach and I worked very hard this year, didn’t miss a throws session, skipped vacations with my family – and look where it got us.

"I should have been at this party a long time ago.

10. Kenya’s Henry Kirwa won the men’s 5,000m T13 - he won three titles at Beijing 2008 but lost out on gold at London 2012.

"I planned this four years ago. I went home (after London 2012) and said 'Let me improve my tactics'. Today my plan worked."