Rio 2016 venue for Paralympic judo unveiled08.03.2016
Carioca Arena 3, which will become a sport-focused high school, inaugurated to celebrate six months until the Paralympic Games.
“The atmosphere here is incredible, you can already feel the energy from the stands, just imagine when they are full.”
So said Williams Araújo, Brazil’s world No. 1 ranked judoka in the over 100kg category, after helping unveil Carioca Arena 3 in Barra Olympic Park on Sunday (6 March). Araújo, who is likely to be one of the stars of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, was one of the first athletes to perform at the arena that will host Paralympic judo in September after staging taekwondo and fencing during the Olympic Games in August.
“I believe these Paralympic Games will be the most exciting in history,” Araújo said.
Carioca Arena 3 has 10,000 seats and – like Carioca Arena 1, which was inaugurated in January – has been built to offer the highest standards of accessibility for athletes and spectators.
“It’s very spacious here inside, it’s easy to move about,” said judoka Karla Cardoso, who competed alongside Araújo and Roberto Julian.
Ramps with anti-slip surfaces allow safe and easy entry for wheelchair users to the stands, where special seats are reserved for people with impairments, while bathrooms have been built to provide full accessibility.
The Paralympic judokas took to the mats alongside taekwondo athletes as Carioca Arena 3 saw its first sporting action on Sunday, although the first official competition will be fencing test event between 23 and 27 April.
After the Games, Carioca 3 will become an Olympic Experimental School (GEO in Portuguese) with space for 1,000 full-time students. The city government has already initiated three of these special institutions in other parts of Rio. They combine academic teaching with top-level sports training.
With 24 classrooms, plus science and media labs, Carioca Arena 3 will be the largest of the GEOs, offering pupils and youngsters from social projects with facilities for judo, badminton, basketball, wrestling, table tennis, archery, handball, football, volleyball, gymnastics and weight training.
Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).
Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.