Weeks after the close of the 2016 Olympic Sumer Games, the 2016 Paralympics started up in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, and yielded unbelievable moments and records that will live in sports history, including Pinay Josephine Medina’s Bronze medal win in table Tennis. Here are five things we’ll never forget about the Rio 2016 Paralympics:
In addition to over 100 world sporting records set at this year’s Paralympics, attendance far surpassed that of the Olympic Summer Games as spectators came out to watch history being made. The result: Rio 2016 has become the second most-attended Paralympics in history with 2 million tickets sold. London 2012 holds the record with 2.89 million.
That isn’t a typo: Team Algeria’s Abdellatif Baka may have taken the top podium position, but the next three runners-up in the visually-impaired Men’s 1500m were no slouches: all (including Baka’s twin, who finished in fourth place) clocked in with times that would have beaten that of this year’s Gold-winning Olympian Matthew Centrowitz.
Most athletes devote their entire lives towards excelling in a single sport. For British Paralympian Kadeena Cox, one just wasn’t enough, as she ran her way to a bronze in the 100m sprint before getting on her bike to score Silver in the cycling Relay, as well as set a world record for the Gold in the 400m sprint cycling event. Did we mention she has multiple sclerosis?
Born without hands or feet, Brazilian Daniel Dias was inspired at the age of 16 to take up swimming when he watched Paralympian Clodoaldo Silva’s performance at the 2004 Games. Today, he holds the Paralympic record for most medal wins, with 24 to date, including 14 Golds, four of which he won last week at Rio 2016, making him a hometown hero, as well as an inspiration to athletes everywhere.
For sports-loving Pinoys all over the world, there was no question that our number one would be Josephine Medina doing her country proud by winning the Bronze in Table Tennis. Diagnosed with poliomyelitis which affected the length of her legs, Medina has competed in Table Tennis tournaments her entire life, inspired by her father, who was himself a national team player. After walking from London 2012 Paralympics empty-handed, Medina redoubled her efforts to win and, in doing so, claimed the Philippines’ sole 2016 medal win.