Paralympics 2016 to start today

Paralympics 2016 to start todayRio de Janeiro is preparing to start the 2016 Paralympics with the opening ceremony later on Wednesday in the Maracana Stadium.

The three-hour ceremony heralds the start of the 11-day event with more than 4000 athletes from 161 countries to compete for 528 gold medals over 23 paralympic sports.

Fears over funding had threatened the organisation of the Paralympics but a late surge in ticket sales to 1.5 million suggested Brazilians were getting behind the event after the recent Rio Olympic Games.

And thanks to financial support from private sponsors amounting to 250 million reals ($A101.75 million), the city of Rio and Brazilian government could ensure all the teams were able to arrive, even if promised subsidies arrived late.

The closing ceremony also takes place in the Maracana on September 18.
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