Rio rolls out Games amid concerns (again)
RIO 2016 Paralympics organisers have said that 1.5 million tickets had been sold and they hope that all 2.5 million will go.
The Games have been overshadowed by financial worries and the slow sale of tickets. But organisers have reported a dramatic turnaround in sales since the end of the Rio Olympics on August 21.
At that stage only 300,000 tickets had been sold. But on September 5, organisers said in a statement the “Games achieved an important milestone as it reached 1.5 million tickets sold”.
They added, “While there are still around 1 million tickets available the rhythm of sales suggests that all the 2.5 million tickets will be sold.”
Organisers said the Olympics and hopes for Brazilian gold medals had boosted sales.
“Now we see people look for specific athletes and scheduled duels,” said Rio 2016 spokesperson Mario Andrada.
Brazil are aiming for a top-five place in the medals table and have several hopes in the Paralympics athletics, including Odair Santos who could get their first gold in the 5000m T11 tomorrow.
The Games start today with more than 4300 para-athletes scheduled to take part in 22 sports.
Robbery in the village
Just as Brazil was shaking off its headache over thefts at the Olympic village, Spanish Paralympic athletes have declared they had around US$390 in cash stolen from their rooms.
Members of the cleaning staff are the primary suspects in the latest thefts, which occurred over the weekend in the Athletes’ Village in Rio de Janeiro, a member of Spain’s delegation told AFP.
“They said they were cleaning staff, but what they cleaned out was the money in some of our athletes’ wallets,” the delegation member said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“We managed to find them and send them to security staff, but police found nothing when they searched them. They clearly had a place to hide it.”
Spanish media reports said some athletes have stopped allowing cleaning staff into their rooms.
Crime-weary Brazil was already hit by theft accusations during the Olympics, which ran from August 5 to 21. The Australian, Chinese and Danish teams all reported items stolen. –