The sporting action in Rio de Janeiro is not yet over. While the mega event -- the Olympics 2016 -- may have ended, it is time for the important, but, unfortunately oft-forgotten quadrennial sporting event -- the Paralympics.
The Rio Paralympics will run from Sep. 7 to 18, and the event will see as many as 4,300 athletes competing over 23 sports disciplines, including cycling, rowing as well as judo. The Games gives out a strong message that no matter what the disability, an athlete's perseverance will always excel.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) classifies the para-athletes in various categories, known as sport classes, based on their impairment.
Here are the ten categories: impaired muscle power, impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency, leg length difference, short stature, hypertonia, ataxia, athetosis, vision impairment and intellectual impairment.
Rio 2016 Olympics did not have the best of build-ups as it was marred by news of financial crisis, lack of preparations as well as health epidemics like the Zika virus. Nevertheless, the Games went on smoothly, giving the viewers lots to cheer and cherish. Ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympics too, a cloud of uncertainty has arisen after it was announced that there had been major budget cuts due to poor ticket sales.
Nevertheless, we can expect the Paralympics to function smoothly and become a landmark event this time for India, in particular. Let us look at some crucial info ahead of Wednesday's grand opening ceremony.
List of sporting disciplines in Paralympics 2016
Archery, Athletics, Boccia, Cycling, Paracanoe, Equestrian, Football (five-a-side, seven-a-side), Goalball, Judo, Para-triathlon, Powerlifting, Rowing, Sailing, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Wheelchair basketball, Wheelchair fencing, Wheelchair tennis, Wheelchair rugby.
Sports making their debut in Paralympics 2016
What's special about Paralympics 2016?
Apart from the jawdropping skills that will be in display by the gifted athletes, this year, the Games will be broadcast in as many as 154 countries around the world, a record.
India at Paralympics 2016
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) announced on Tuesday that the Indian gold medallists from the Paralympic Games are entitled to Rs 75 lakhs. Rs 50 lakhs will be given out for the silver medallists and Rs 30 lakhs for the bronze medallists.
India are sending their biggest-ever athlete contingent for the sporting event this time around and among the 19 athletes, Devendra Jhajharia, India's first Paralympic gold medallist in Athens 2004 as well as Ankur Dhama, India's first-ever blind athlete in the Paralympics, are set to ply their trade in the javelin throw and the 1500m event respectively.
The inspirational Deepa Malik will also be looking for her first ever medal from the Paralympics. Get the full list of Indian athletes for Paralympics 2016 here.
Who are the Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt of the Paralympics?
Jason Smyth (Ireland) is the undisputed fastest man in the Paralympics at the moment. The visually-impaired sprinter competed over the 100m and the 200m event in Paralympics 2008 and Paralympics 2012 and won the gold in both the events. Smyth will now target Usain Bolt's 'triple-triple'.
Daniel Dias (Brazil) is referred to as the Michael Phelps of the Paralympics and with the games happening on his home turf, the 28-year-old will be keen on corner greater glory this time around. Dias won a total of nine medals (four golds, four silvers, and one bronze) at the 2008 Paralympics. In the London 2012 Paralympics, he bagged six more gold medals.
Are Russia competing?
No, is the answer. Following widespread reports of state-sponsored doping across the country, a complete blanket ban has been put on the Russian athletes. This only makes the other two favourites from the games -- United Kingdom and China all the more stronger.