“Competing at the Paralympics means that you are already amongst the best in the world in your sport, thus having qualified is already a major achievement.”
Brazil´s Geraldo Rosenthal will be competing at his first Paralympics at Rio 2016, which he hopes will raise awareness of the abilities of people with impairments and Para sports in Latin America.
The 41-year-old shooter believes the Paralympic Games can inspire the next generation to take up sports.
“Hosting the Games will be important for Brazil to get new people into Para sports,” said Rosenthal, who holds the P4 (mixed 50m pistol SH1) Americas qualification record with a 528.0 score.
“Rio 2016 will be a huge opportunity for the country to grow, as well as to share knowledge and experiences with people from the whole world.
“I hope the Paralympics to be known by many generations to come as an example of fair play, peace and friendship.”
Rosenthal is expecting to see many spectators attending the different competitions, which he believes will tempt investors.
“We need more people to get involved and support Paralympic sports in Brazil,” he said.
“I want everyone to see the competitors not merely as athletes, but as people who make possible the impossible, as true heroes.”
Earlier this year, Rosenthal claimed gold at an IPC Shooting World Cup, when he won the P5 (mixed 10m air pistol standard SH1) event in Bangkok, Thailand. Whilst the event is not on the Paralympic programme, it still gave Rosenthal a major boost.
“That was a great achievement. It proved me that everything is possible if you make an effort and motivated me to keep trying to outdo myself every day,” he said.
“I hope to maintain this level at this year´s Paralympic Games.
“I was absent too much from work due to my competitions and got fired some time ago. But thanks to this gold medal, I started to receive a significant financial support from the government and can now devote myself entirely to sport.”
Rosenthal trains every day between four and six hours to reach his best possible form ahead of Rio 2016.
“I am not thinking about reaching the podium because I do not want to lose focus on my trainings,” he said.
“I just want to give the best I can. If I finish in first, second or twelfth place, will be consequence of my full commitment.
“Competing at the Paralympics means that you are already amongst the best in the world in your sport, thus having qualified is already a major achievement.
“Whatever the future holds, will be welcomed.”
Rosenthal´s dream goes far beyond shooting. He aims to “become a better person, better athlete, better friend and better human.
“That is what lasts, in the end, more than winning a medal, and what brings you the greatest satisfactions,” he said.
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.