The 2016 Paralympics

Fatima Al-Sammak, Editor-in-Chief

The 2016 Summer Olympics were held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from September 7 to September 18. This was the first time that a Latin American/Southern American country has hosted these events, and the second time they’ve been held in the southern hemisphere. These events, governed by the International Paralympic Committee, were created to give athletes with disabilities from all nations the ability to participate in olympic sports. This year, two new games, canoeing and the paratriathlon, were added.

In terms of ticket sales, over two million tickets were sold making this year’s Paralympic Games the second greatest that have been held. There were a total of 4,342 athletes that participated, with 159 total nations participating. China placed first for the greatest number of gold medals won, with Great Britain following in second.  This year also marked the first time that a competitor from Iraq won a gold medal. The winner’s name was Jarah Nasar, and the medal was for shot put.

Another interesting thing is that the silver and bronze medals, of which the designs were produced by the Casa da Moeda do Brasil, contained 30% recycled material. As for the gold medals, they were made from gold that had been mined and extracted using means that met certain sustainability criteria. This helped to make the medal-making process more environmental-friendly. The medals were also inscribed with braille and contained a differing number of metal balls to allow the visually impaired to distinguish between them by shaking them or feeling them. As an additional prize, the medals came with a wooden box that they could carry, and it contained a plush toy of the Paralympics mascot named Tom, of which the design is supposed to represent Brazilian flora, with hair leaves that matched the medal color.