OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE
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The Río de Janeiro Paralympic Games (September 7-18) were officially inaugurated yesterday in the Brazilian city during a spectacular opening ceremony, which saw over 4,000 athletes representing 160 nations participating in the event, parade through Maracana Stadium.
Amidst rapturous applause, the Cuban flag was one gain raised in the mythic stadium, this time by Judoka Dalidaivis Rodríguez, London 2012 Paralympic Champion in the 63 kg division. The Cuban delegation to the Games is composed of 23 athletes, including sprinters Yunidis Castillo, five times Paralympic Champion from Beijing 2008 to London 2012, and Omara Durand, double Paralympic gold medal winner and multi-World Champion.
With a carnival atmosphere, the opening ceremony had as its central theme "The heart knows no limits; Everyone has a heart,” demonstrating that every human being has the right to physical activity, without discrimination, and in a spirit of solidarity and friendship through sport.
This year’s Games represent Cuba’s seventh Paralympic appearance. Since its debut in the Barcelona 1992 Games, the island has accumulated 70 medals: 31 gold, 18 silver and 21 bronze. Cuba saw its best performance to date in the previous edition of the competition held in London, placing 15th on the overall country medal chart.