Paralympics opens in Rio

The Paralympics opened yesterday in Rio with a great show of colour and music. 10 athletes in NZ’s team took part in the opening ceremony but those people who had a competition the next day were resting or watching.

NZ has 31 athletes competing in these Paralympics. Already today, NZ has one gold medal – in the women’s long jump – and one bronze medal – in the women’s 100m backstroke. Other athletes are competing in shooting, sailing, canoeing, and cycling.

The athletes each have a disability which means they could not compete fairly with able-bodied people. Some are in wheelchairs. Others have one arm, one leg or are nearly blind. Each person competes against athletes with similar disabilities to make it a fair competition.


• Paralympics – Olympics for athletes who have a physical disability; the prefix “para-” means “beside”
• compete (v), competitive (adj) competition (n), competitor (n) the person who competes
• able-bodied (adj) – people who do not have a physical disability

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