Home >> News >> Olympic News

Paralympic opening ceremony to celebrate 'solidarity, love, heart'

2016-09-06 09:04:00 Xinhuanet

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- The opening ceremony of the Rio Paralympics will focus less on retelling Brazil's history and more on the "human condition", the show's creative directors said on Friday.

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 utilize national icons," Paiva told a press conference. "We don't. We are more focused on humanity, on the human condition, on feelings, difficulties, solidarity, love, heart."

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.

Organizers 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.

Organizers said that 4,000 tickets out of a total of 50,000 remained available. The Rio Paralympics will run from September 7 to 18.

Find an athlete