Paralympics Opening ceremony: Rio 2016 Games get underway with theme of inclusion

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American wheelchair athlete Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham sped down a sixty-foot ramp and performed a reverse somersault through the air amidst a sea of fireworks to kick off the opening ceremony in spectacular fashion.

Then the joyous rhythms of samba singers and a carnivalesque reproduction of a Rio beach scene got them dancing.

Temer opened the games officially and, as he was in the Olympics when he was only the acting president, was jeered by fans chanting "Fora Temer" — Out Temer.

The new Brazilian President Michel Temer was booed at the opening ceremonies after also being jeered earlier, in Brasília, during a parade celebrating Brazil's Independence.

Government spending on the 2016 Olympics has been a source of anger for many Brazilians who have lived through two consecutive years of recession.

The world's most competitive differently-abled also paraded ahead of 11 days of contests. Some pushed their own wheelchairs, others were pushed, while others limped.

ParalympicsGB were led into the packed arena by 10-time equestrian champion Lee Pearson. The goal of getting athletes with and without disabilities competing together has been pursued for many years - all over the world.

The delegation includes several previous medal-winners.

Jadir Antunes, who lost both legs in a auto accident when he was six, said that access on public transport to the Olympic Park, where he was watching basketball, was excellent - but that Rio still has a long way to go.

In the next edition held in Barcelona in 1992, the Malaysian contingent did better, winning one silver through Cheok Kon Fatt, also in powerlifting, and two bronze medals through Mariappan (powerlifting) and Mohd Khasseri Othman (athletics).

Some go to extreme lengths using electric shocks, explicitly wearing too tight shorts to up the blood pressure in the lower limbs, twisting their testicles...the horror stories are never-ending.

24 Azerbaijani Paralympic athletes earned 41 slots in six sports at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

A notable absentee was International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, who revealed he had to attend a state mourning ceremony in Germany for Walter Scheel, the former West Germany president. Rio police were to give a press conference on the matter Thursday.

The build-up to the Paralympic games has been marred by fears of empty stadiums, a drugs ban to the entire Russian team, as well as claims that the athletes' classification system is being manipulated.

Nevertheless, for the athletes it's all about elevating the global profile of the games.

Constrained by political and economic crises, Rio 2016 organizers have skimped as far as they could on food, transport and accommodation.

London's ticket sales surpassed the 2008 Beijing Games by nearly 1 million. This follows concerns about half-empty stadiums at numerous Olympics events.

The Rio Paralympics got under way with a stunning opening ceremony on Wednesday at the Maracana Stadium. "Our aim is to sell around 2.4 million", Craven said. Now sales have reached 1.6 million and are "growing every day". In part, that is because there is no central government funding, but disability rights advocates also say it reflects the lack of support in the U.S. for those who are disabled.

Despite the slow uptake of tickets, 1459 days since the London Paralympics came to an end, the 78,000-seat Maracana was full on Brazil's Independence Day.

Runner Tamsin Colley will turn 14 during the Paralympics, making her the youngest athlete on Australia's team.