Baku, September 8, AZERTAC
The opening ceremony of the fifteenth Summer Paralympic Games has been held in "Maracana" Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia on September 8, at 02:00 in Baku.
An estimated 2,700 male and 1650 female athletes from more than 160 countries are set to compete in 528 medal events across 22 sports over the next 11 days of sporting action.
24 Azerbaijani Paralympic athletes earned 41 slots in six sports at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
The opening ceremony began with American Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham, in a wheelchair, jumping from a massive ramp from the Maracana stands and performing a back flip through a giant ring.
The Brazilian national anthem was played on the piano by Carlos Martin, whose right hand is severely disabled, before the parade of athletes, with the loudest cheer of the night reserved for competitors from the host nation.
First of all, Independent Paralympic Athletes Team entered the arena.
Two-time judo Paralympic champion, winner of Baku-2015 European Games Ilham Zakiyev carried Azerbaijan's tricolor during the parade in the opening ceremony.
The parade of the athletes was ended with marching of Brazilian Paralympic team.
After the parade, "Rio is ready to deliver Paralympic history," said President of the Brazilian Olympic Committee Carlos Arthur Nuzman in his speech.
After the speeches, Brazilian President Michel Temer announced the opening of 15th Summer Paralympic Games.
In the end, Brazilian swimmer Klodoaldo Silva lit the torch of Paralympic Games.