The USA has announced its largest ever team for the Paralympic Games, with 267 athletes set to compete at Rio 2016.
Even before the Games start, some para athletes have began smashing world records. The world record first fell in May when Japan’s reigning world champion Atsushi Yamamoto leapt 6.56 metres. After that, Denmark’s London 2012 bronze medallist Daniel Wagner added another 11 centimetres as he jumped 6.67 metres at the test event for the Rio Paralympic Games. In June, Wagner then bettered his own mark with a 6.70 leap to secure the European title in Italy.
“Higher, faster, stronger” is the slogan of the Games, and world records fall ahead of Rio 2016 Paralympic Games proves that there would be shocks and surprices, apart from being interesting.
“We are very excited and proud to announce our largest team yet to compete in the Paralympic Games,” said Rick Adams, chief of Paralympic Sport at the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). To see our team increase in size by more than 17 per cent since London is tremendous, and it shows the growth of the Paralympic Movement here in the US.
"This team of 267 athletes is not only going to excel on the field of play, but they are also going to captivate the nation with their athleticism and determination, inspiring the next generation of amazing athletes.”
For Ghana, Saka Akwei, the Deputy Director General (Technical) of the National Sports Authority (NSA) who leads Team Ghana is hopeful that the nation’s representatives will perform superbly.
He said Ghana’s problem has been funds and he is sad that the government is reducing the budget on sports instead of topping it up. “Our budget was slashed and am very sad, but my confidence is in the fact that I believe my sportsmen. All of them are capable and potential medal winners. You know most of the time, it is the disabled athletes who raise the flag of Ghana, yet they are not recognized” he expressed.
Expected to make Ghana proud in Brazil are; Alem Mumuni (Para cyclist), Charles Teye Narh (Power lifter), and Yusif Hamadu (High jumper).