Experiencing unpaired joy during the Rio2016 Paralympic Games

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Closing the loop on the wonderful experience this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games have brought to us.

I’ve already shared here our family’s perception and personal experiences during the Rio2016 Olympic Games. Have also introduced the curious way the Paralympic Torch would be lit, by ‘human/social media heat’.

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During the last weekend of the Paralympic Events in Rio, husband was kind enough to offer single-parenting, watching our 3 kids, so I could have the opportunity to see and live, first-hand, how the Paralympic athletes have taught us to be – all around – better human beings. Talk about overcoming life challenges, difficulties, hard times… a simple training day carries the weight of a competition. Those athletes are more than social survivors. They’re warriors. Their fight is daily. their challenges are endless. And despite all the hardships, ‘giving up’ is not [and will never be!] part of their vocabulary.

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I have shamelessly cried. I’ve cried during the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony.  I’ve cried when realized there was a female rugby player [and bwt, an awesome one!] playing along with her male teammates. I cried when I saw at the end of a match, both competing teams coming together forward and thanking their audience. That last weekend of the Rio2016 Events, was to me more than a closing mark.

I’m a mother to young children, who keep their dad and I fully busy with their sports activities. And I felt somehow guilty for – having before – complained about waking up early, and/or having to change my work schedule at the last minute to attend a game, a performance, a practice. I’ve learned my family faces NO CHALLENGES. Our life is easy. We haven’t had to overcome genuine troubling times. This September has changed something inside me. For the better. The long-weekend started with a great Friday evening at Rio’s British House, for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Reception:

 

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The beautiful Rio2016 showed me what real difficulties are.

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On Sunday evening, September 18, last day of the Paralympics and the closing episode of the Summer Olympic Games in South America, I came back home a different person.

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feijoada

I arrived at the house and was greeted by our excited children, eager to learn about their mom’s trip. They were hovering over the cell phone, watching footage from matches I’ve attended, checking the pictures taken throughout the Olympic Park, Aqua Park [venue assembled for the swimming events], the Rio Boulevard Park, downtown Rio, by the Candelaria, the Copacabana beach front [a must see!], hiking moments along the Morro da Urca, and obviously, snapshots of their ‘mommy’, enjoying feijoada with friends in the traditional neighborhood of Santa Teresa, by the trolleys… 🙂

 

Wheelchair Rugby: England x Sweden

 

Brief moment: a little Rugby Fan enjoys the after-game party – he was the single recipient of a very special gift – one of the winner players took off his jersey and “dressed it up” over the boy.That young man was so, so happy!

 

Finally, the best of my weekend: coming home to the kids, and having our 5-year-old recite the “inclusion song” shed’d learned at school. It is definitely a small world, and we all have much to share…Here is the “mascot” of our family, holding the Rio2016 Mascot – “Vinicius”, who, alongside with “Tom” were the “guests of honor” for these Summer Olympic Games.

Peace to all & keep on blogging!

Lit by human heat, Paralympic torch will visit six cities representing each region of Brazil

 

20160617_163635Reposted from the Paralympic Press, Brazil:

·         Paralympic Flame will be formed by the union of the flames lit at Brasília, Belém, Natal, São Paulo, Joinville, Rio de Janeiro and Stoke Mandeville, in England.

·         People from all over the world may send human warmth through social networks to light up the flames in the cities

Between September 1st and 7th, the Paralympic torch relay will visit all the regions in the country, represented by six Brazilian cities, to announce the arrival of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. The great novelty of the Paralympic flame is the lighting-up mechanism: human heat. The flame which will shine over Maracanã Stadium at the Opening Ceremony will be formed by the union of five flames lit in Brazil and one in Stoke Mandeville, England, the place of birth of the world’s Paralympic Movement.

In a virtual campaign released by the Rio 2016 Committee, people from all over the world may send positive messages, through hashtags, accumulating enough energy to light up each flame. After the local lighting-up ceremonies, which will take place always during the morning at each city, the Paralympic torch will take to the streets carried by torchbearers and will make visits to special locations such as rehabilitation centers and institutes for the sight disabled.

Each flame will symbolize a Paralympic value: Brasília equality; Belém – determination; Natal – inspiration; and Joinville – courage. São Paulo participates with the power of transformation and Rio de Janeiro with the passion for sports. To participate at the movement, all that is necessary is to post a message at social networks using the official hashtag and the hashtag of the value embraced by the city. For example: to light up the Brasília flame, it’s necessary to use the hashtags #ParalympicFlame and #equality. At the Rio 2016 website, the public can daily accompany the map of heat generated by messages sent via Twitter.

The five flames will arrive at Rio de Janeiro by digital roads. They will be virtually sent to the host city after the end of the relay in each region. On September 6th, a ceremony of union of the flames will form the Paralympic flame at the Museum of Tomorrow, a landmark of the revitalization of Rio’s Historical Centre. The event will mark the start of the relay in the city, which will last for two days and will mobilize 360 torchbearers.

During the Paralympic Games, the flame will stay lit at the Candelária cauldron, at Rio’s Centre.

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NUMBERS

  • 6 Brazilian cities
  • 250 kilometers travelled in the relay
  • 4650 air miles travelled by the retinue’s airplane
  • 700 torchbearers
  • 28 special visits