After a record-breaking Olympic Games for Team GB, it is now the turn of Paralympics GB to inspire the nation with their performances at Rio 2016. Tomorrow our Paralympians, supported by £73m of strategic investment of National Lottery and Government funding, look to build on the incredible success of London 2012.
Ahead of tonight’s opening ceremony, UK Sport’s Chief Executive Liz Nicholl has shared a good luck message for all those representing Paralympics GB as they strive to better their medal haul from London 2012, by targeting at least 121 medals in Rio.
The growing strength of the high performance system means there are no less than 18 Paralympic sports targeting medals in Rio compared to the 13 that won medals in London
“Rio 2016 promises to be a unique and fascinating Paralympic Games for everyone involved. Following the spectacular success of the record breaking Rio Olympic Games I am confident we have a better prepared British Paralympics team than ever before and the support of the great British public and the National Lottery players will spur them on to achieve inspirational performances.
“On behalf of all of us here at UK Sport, I send this heartfelt good luck message to all the talented athletes and their support teams as they focus on achieving their lifetime ambitions at the Rio Paralympic Games.
“Our vision at UK Sport is to inspire the nation through Olympic and Paralympic success, and thanks to the ongoing backing of our Government and National Lottery players, we are confident ParalympicsGB can sustain this incredible summer for British sport.”
~ Liz Nicholl, Chief Executive of UK Sport
The Opening Ceremony at the Maracana Stadium tonight promises to be a spectacular show, with the theme of the ceremony being ‘Every Body Has a Heart’, focusing on the human condition, feelings, difficulties, solidarity and love. Coverage begins on Channel 4 at 20:00, with the ceremony commencing at 22:15.
Sporting action gets underway tomorrow, with shooting in the afternoon and evening highlights including Dame Sarah Story going for a record twelfth Olympic gold in the velodrome, as well as reigning Paralympic champions competing in swimming and athletics.
You can follow events in Rio with UK Sport's coverage on Twitter @UK_Sport.