Paralympic Games
7-18 September

Top ten Rio 2016 quotes

From wheelchair fencer Vio thanking her toy mascot for the gold medal to archer Drahoninsky proposing to his girlfriend - check out some of the best reactions at the Paralympic Games. 27 Sep 2016
Beatrice Vio

Beatrice Vio

ⒸAugusto Bizzi

The Paralympic Games left not only memorable sporting performances but also some epic, funny and inspiring quotes.

Check out ten of them.

Syrian refugee Ibrahim Al Hussein after competing in Rio as part of the Independent Paralympic Athletes (IPA) team…

“I have been dreaming of this for 22 years. I thought my dream had gone when I lost my leg but now it is back for real.”

With six golds and one bronze, Belarus’ Ihar Boki ended as the most decorated Paralympian from Rio 2016…

“There is a feeling of lightness because I did so much work to achieve this. I am happy that I was able to have decent results in this competition, and that I was able to stay strong. All of these 10 days were very difficult and I had to swim a race almost every day.

“I wanted to go out and just show the results that I am capable of right now. I came out here and I showed that and apparently that was enough to get the gold medals.”

Italian 19-year-old wheelchair fencer Beatrice Vio stated she won gold in the foil category B thanks to her toy mascot…

“The credit for this success actually belongs to 'Squacchero', my stuffed animal that is always with me, even when I fence on the piste.

“Luckily he was with me during the final bout, because I was worried that he would not pass the technical test but then he made it too!"

Archer Zahra Nemati, who competed at August’s Olympic Games, won the women’s individual recurve open title at the Rio Paralympics…

“The energy from the people around me, the spectators, the people who wanted me to win – all this energy affected me and that was what helped me. I am very happy, I am so happy. I am so tired and all this work from the past two, three months has been weighing heavily on my shoulders.

“The people of Brazil have been very kind to me during the Olympics and the Paralympics. They have been really nice and special the way they treated me. All I have been trying to do is use this energy I have been getting from them to put it in my sport."

Team captain Steve Serio led the USA to their first wheelchair basketball Paralympic gold since 1988…

“To think about what we accomplished and to accomplish it together with this group of guys, it is special. From my personal experience, getting fourth at Beijing [2008] was really hard. Getting bronze at London [2012] was an important stepping stone for the programme, just to know that we belong on the podium. Four years later to win the gold it has been an amazing journey. I would not change it for anything.”

France’s Damien Seguin won his second Paralympic gold and shared it with his supporters…

“I have an association in France for people with disabilities and they came to Rio this week. They were at the beach every day to support me. It was amazing. This association is for encouraging people with disabilities to go sailing.”

Czech Republic’s world archery champion and world number one David Drahoninsky finished second in the men’s W1 and proposed to his girlfriend Lida Fikarova on the shooting platform…

“I finished second. Sorry. Would you marry me?"

“I am lucky, at least in Rio I could give a surprise for my girlfriend. I wanted to do this… and she said yes.

“Before this competition I had the ring. After the competition I had the ring and medal. And now, I have not [got] the medal [or] the ring (he handed both to his new fiancé)."

British 18-year-old wheelchair tennis player Alfie Hewett won silver in both singles and doubles, but is already hoping to trade them in for golds at Tokyo 2020…

“Yeah roll on Tokyo! There is no better way than going into that with two silver medals, so one step next time – two gold medals.

“For me, I was always going for gold in the Tokyo (Paralympics) singles, so to have this kind of experience now, when I get to Tokyo this will not be new to me and it will be something that I have already experienced.”

Argentinian blind football player Coki Padilla won bronze following a 1-0 win over China on the penalties…

“I am 37 years old. I am not going to leave football but football will leave me soon. I know that in a couple of years the coach will not call me. So this was the opportunity in a lifetime, because we depend on a Paralympic medal to have a state pension. I played for the food of my family. This is a golden bronze medal for me.”

IPC President Sir Philip Craven thanking the Brazilian people for helping make this Paralympic Games a huge success…

“Marvellous Cariocas, you warmly embraced these Games and took the athletes to your hearts. You made the Paralympics your Games, the People’s Games, and we will forever cherish our time spent with you.”