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Rio Paralympic To Celebrate Solidarity, Love, Heart

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RIO DE JANEIRO – The opening ceremony of the Rio Paralympics will focus less on
retelling Brazil’s history and more on the “human condition”, China’s Xinhua news
agency reported the show’s creative directors as saying.

Next Wednesday’s extravaganza at the Maracana stadium will last almost three
hours, reflecting the motto “everybody has a heart”, according to writer Marcelo
Paiva, one of the directors.

“The Olympic Games opening ceremony had an obligation to tell Brazil’s
history and utilise national icons. We don’t. We are more focused on humanity,
on the human condition, on feelings, difficulties, solidarity, love, heart,”
Paiva told a press conference.

That is not to say the ceremony will not include elements of Brazil’s
national identity, such as Rio’s beaches, samba dance and local music.

It will also feature a performance by US snowboarder and Paralympic
medallist Amy Purdy.

“Having this opportunity to perform for the whole world, with millions of
people watching, is an enormous responsibility,” Purdy said. “That’s why I’m
training so hard.”

Paiva said he hoped the ceremony would change perspectives on people with
impairments.

“It’s a universal message,” Paiva said. “A ramp for the disabled could also
be for pregnant women, for people who have a broken leg, for prams, for the
visually impaired.”

He added that the ceremony would begin “spectacularly”. “It will evoke
emotion, laughs and tears,” Paiva said.

Organisers did not disclose the opening ceremony budget, but executive
producer Flavio Machado confirmed cuts were made amid Brazil’s worst recession
in decades.

“Brazilians know how to do more with less,” he said. “The budget was enough
to do what we wanted to create. It wasn’t a problem and it’s not going to be an
excuse.

“We have worked on a very strong creative concept. We want to provoke the
audience to dismantle prejudices against people with deficiencies.

Some 500 professionals, including choreographers and artists, and 2,000
volunteers will be involved in the ceremony.

Over 4,000 athletes from 160 countries and regions will take part in the
parade.

Organisers said that 4,000 tickets out of a total of 50,000 remained
available. The Rio Paralympics will run from Sept 7 to 18.
— BERNAMA

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