On 2 October 2009, in Copenhagen, it was announced that Rio de Janeiro had won the right to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, bringing these events to South America for the first time. The announcement was a rich reward for the hard work and vision of the bid team, and marked the beginning of a journey full of opportunities and challenges for Rio and Brazil.
The Paralympic Games continue to go from strength to strength. After the huge succes of the London 2012 Summer Games and the Sochi 2014 Winter Games, the Rio de Janeiro edition promises to be the largest celebration yet of high-performance sport for people with an impairment.
The infrastructure works for the Olympic and Paralympic Games comprise a huge project. More than 140,000 people will work in the staging of the two events, comprising approximately 7,000 organising committee staff, 65,000 contractors and 70,000 volunteers. Millions of people in Rio and Brazil, across South America and around the world will be inspired by the Games. About 4,350 Paralympians from more than 160 nations will compete at Rio 2016, in front of many thousands of sports fans, tourists and media professionals.
In the longer term, the 2016 Paralympic Games will leave an important legacy, both in terms of improved accessibility in public spaces and on public transport, and in changing perceptions towards people with a disability.