2016 Summer Paralympics torch relay

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XV Paralympic Games
Rio 2016 Paralympic Torch Relay Emblem.svg
Host cityRio de Janeiro, Brazil
Countries visitedBrazil
Start dateSeptember 1, 2016
End dateSeptember 7, 2016

The 2016 Summer Paralympics Torch Relay was a 7-day event leading up to the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. It began on September 1, 2016, in Brasilia and concluded at the Games' opening ceremony on September 7. The Paralympic torch relay began with five individual flames being relayed to a city in each of the five regions of Brazil. These flames, as well as a sixth flame lit in Stoke Mandeville, Great Britain, were united to form a single Paralympic flame, which was relayed through Rio on 6 and 7 September 2016 en route to its lighting at the Maracanã during the opening ceremony.[1][2][3]

The Torch[edit]

The Rio 2016 Paralympic Torch was unveiled on December 13, 2015. It was created from the same design concept as the Rio 2016 Olympic Torch, which cerebrates the essence of Rio 2016 -- passion and transformation. The torch is able to open and close. When closed, the Olympic and Paralympic torches look the same, demonstrating the equality of the two torches, and when opened, the character of the torches reveal themselves.

According to Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman, "The Paralympic Torch’s sinuous curves represent the highs and lows in the life of a Paralympic athlete, celebrating their determination and achievements. Its quadrangular shape refers to the four Paralympic values – courage, determination, inspiration and equality – which are also written in Braille on the torch, along with the words 'Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Torch Relay.'"

During the relay, when the flame is passed from one torchbearer to another its segments open upwards, symbolizing a person's body stretching its boundaries. The segments come from the elements of the Brazilian flair and the host city's nature represent with the colors of the host nation's flag. The golden triangle on the top of the torch represents the three Olympic values (respect, excellence and friendship) and the achievement of the games and the sun. The green represents nature surrounding the host city. The aquamarine represents the waters surrounding the host nation and the host city. The blue represents the sea. The light blue and the shape of the segments represents the esplanades (Calçadão in Portuguese) of Copacabana and Ipanema. The axis of the torch expresses unity and diversity.[4]



Cities visited in the 2016 Summer Paralympics Torch Relay:

Each city that the relay included celebrated a different Paralympic and Rio 2016 value: in Brasília, it was equality; in Belém, determination; in Natal, inspiration; in São Paulo, transformation; in Joinville, courage; and in Rio de Janeiro, passion.[5]

Stoke Mandeville Ceremony[edit]

On September 2, 2016, Stoke Mandeville, Great Britain, the birthplace of the Paralympic Movement, held a ceremony for the lighting of the Heritage Flame. The flame was combined with the five Brazilian flames in Rio de Janeiro on September 6, which formed the Rio 2016 Paralympic flame.[4]

End of the relay[edit]

After the Paralympic flame was created, it was then carried around Rio from September 6 to September 7. On the day of the opening ceremony, 1984 Olympic gold medalist Marcia Malsar was carrying the torch at the Maracana Stadium when she slipped and fell on the rain-covered floor. Once she recovered from the fall, she smiled, waved at the audience, and handed off the torch. Clodoaldo Silva was the last torchbearer, and lit the cauldron.[6]


  1. ^ "Rio 2016 reveals first details of Paralympic Torch Relay as part of 500 days to Games celebrations". Rio Organizing Committee. 27 April 2015. Archived from the original on 9 August 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Com medalhistas e inspiração, tocha paralímpica inicia caminho até o Rio - paralimpíadas - ge". Globoesporte.globo.com.
  3. ^ "International Paralympic Committee Annual Report 2016" (PDF). Paralympic.org. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Rio 2016 unveils Paralympic Torch". Rio 2016. 13 December 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Rio 2016 Paralympic Torch tours Natal". Rio 2016. 4 September 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  6. ^ Dave Quinn (8 September 2016). "Torch-Carrying Gold Medalist Defines Paralympic Spirit by Picking Herself Up After Falling During Opening Ceremony". People Magazine. Retrieved 9 January 2019.