The Paralympic Games has reportedly seen a large influx of last minute participants, predominantly athletes who were disabled while competing in the recent Olympics.
Due to unhygienic conditions, city violence and negligent health and safety practices by Olympic organisers, many Rio 2016 competitors were tragically left with a lifelong disability. However, in spite of these challenges, many have decided to remain in Rio and represent their countries again during the Paralympics.
Mark Todd, who lost sight in both eyes after drunkenly falling in the water in Guanabara Bay, has remained and will be competing in Blind Shooting.
“As soon as I entered the water my eyes started burning and my vision blurred. It’s obviously a difficult time but I count myself lucky, if I hadn’t had my mouth closed I probably wouldn’t have survived.”
Another athlete seeking to participate is failed Sevens player DJ Forbes, who was left in a wheelchair after accidentally entering Rio’s slums while sightseeing before his event.
“I’m so grateful I have the opportunity to represent my country at the Paralympics Wheelchair Racing. But I won’t be going into any other parts of Rio anytime soon…unless they have a ramp.”
Thai Castle’s Rio correspondent asked the President of the International Olympic Committee for his thoughts on these inspiring athletes during a recent press conference.
“Look, nothing happened. Did you see Usain Bolt grinding on that girl? Pretty crazy! Why don’t we talk about that?”