Day 4 – Paralympic Torch Bulletin Board
- The Paralympic flame was lit at São Paulo this Sunday (04) morning, during the ceremony at the Paralympic Training Centre. The São Paulo capita flame symbolizes the power of transformation, bringing in mind that sport and strength of will can change lives, a reality which is very present at Paralympic athletes’ life stories.
- Mizael de Oliveira, former football 5-a-side athlete, was the messenger of the Paralympic value of transformation. He was the best player in the world of the modality in 1998, Paralympic bi-champion and world bi-champion. Currently, he is vice-president and general secretary of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee. “The São Paulo flame represents the Southeast of Brazil. The most vibrant city in the country produces, today, the flame which speaks about the process of change and evolution, individual as well as collective”, he declared.
- Ivan Freitas, world champion of football 5-a-side and first blind physical education teacher of São Paulo, carried the flame at the Training Centre. “It’s a unique moment in my life. The torch and the medal are the biggest symbols of the Games”, he said
- Torchbearer Ana Maria Crespo is a writer and militant of the rights for people with disabilities movement. “I’m happy that the value chosen for São Paulo was transformation. I believe sports can really change disabled people’s lives.”
- Fabiana Sugimori, swimmer of the 50m freestyle S11 modality, has been at all Paralympic Games from Atlanta to Beijing. She also carried the torch at the Paralympic Training Centre. “To see athletes performing, whether Paralympic or not, always makes people to rethink their attitudes and promote a little transformation. I think that’s the good thing about sports.”
- A former judo athlete, torchbearer Helder Araújo participated at the Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. “In a way, carrying the torch today is a reward for the years of struggling that we went through to give visibility to Paralympic sport. The flame comes to bring happiness to the people and it’s gratifying to make part of this moment”, he said.
- Luiz Claudio Pereira, a former athletics athlete, had the honour of lighting the ceremonial cauldron at the Parapan American Games of 2007. “To have this reunion with the flame is fantastic. I hope this fire will spread hope and take prejudices away in our country”, said Luis Cláudio, winner of six gold medals at Paralympic Games on weightlifting, dart and disc throw modalities.
- Early in the afternoon, the Paralympic Torch Relay proceeded for Paulista Av., where it travelled 5 km between Praça do Ciclista (square) and the Ana Rosa subway station. The avenue was crowded by the audience who went to watch the relay and pay tribute to Paralympic sports.
- Musician Ney da Cunha was one of the torchbearers at Paulista Av. He is a partner of maestro João Carlos Martins, which to this day conducts the Camerata Bacchiana of São Paulo, which along with the percussion group Patubatê, participates at the Celebration Ceremony at Ibirapuera Park.
- Father of Paralympic athlete Verônica Hipólito, José Hipólito also carried the flame at Paulista Av. He was the one responsible for his daughter’s initiation at athletics, and is one of the athlete’s greatest encouragers, along with his wife.
- Judo athlete Rafael Baby Silva, bronze medallist at the London 2012 abd Rio 2016 Olympic Games, wanted to pay tribute to Paralympic sports by carrying the torch this Sunday at São Paulo. “Participating at the relay today is a great opportunity to pay tribute to Brazilian Paralympic athletes. I think Brazil is going to do pretty and is going to be among the five best in the modality”, he said.
- Advertiser José Martins has been creative director of big Brazilian agencies, and today, he carried the torch at the surroundings of Ibirapuera Park. “I think sports are a great tool of transformation in the lives of people with disabilities, for it allows us to do things other people didn’t think we could do”, he affirmed.
- For 20 years, Geraldo Nunes was an aerial reporter at the city of São Paulo. This Sunday afternoon, he prepared for a special mission: to carry the Paralympic flame. “To have been an aerial reporter, even on a wheelchair, was a great achievement. For me, the freedom that is felt upon flying must be similar to the emotion which takes hold of the athlete upon a moment of overcoming”, he said.
- Ibirapuera Park was the last stretch of the relay’s course at São Paulo. Many families went to the park to check out the passing of the Paralympic flame. Ballerina Karen Ribeiro was one of the torchbearers. “I was indicated by a student of my ballet school, which is directed to older women. For that reason, I want to represent all women and this feeling of overcoming today. I have a leg which is 6 centimetres shorter than the other, but that never stopped me from achieving my goals”, affirmed the ballerina, who carried the torch wearing sneakers, performing ballet moves.
- Mário Sérgio Fontes, introducer of goalball in Brazil and athletics athlete at the Los Angeles 1984 and Seoul 1988 Games, was the last torchbearer of the day. “It’s the most important moment of this 35 years I have dedicated to Paralympic sport”, he said.
- The celebration ceremony took place in front of the Afro Brasil Museum. Bradesco presented a dance spectacle with participation of ballet dancers and former Paralympic athletes. Nissan took the percussion group Patubatê, which united with maestro João Carlos Martins and the Cameratta Bachiana of São Paulo to welcome the Paralympic flame with music and arrangement created for the event. At the performance , the musicians played traditional musical instruments and some created by Patubatê with pieces of the Nissan Kicks, official car of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. - São Paulo was the fourth city to welcome the Rio 2016 Paralympic Torch Relay.
- This Monday (06), the Paralympic flame will be lit at Joinville (SC). Rio de Janeiro is the last city on the route.
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