International Paralympic Day planned on Copacabana Beach to launch Rio 2016 ticket sales

Officials outline the International Paralympic Day during the Project Review meeting

More than three million tickets will be made available for next year’s Rio 2016 Paralympic Games when sales open with a special commemorative event on Copacabana Day on September 7, exactly a year before the Opening Ceremony.

This was revealed following the latest Project Review inspection by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), which focused primarily on how to engage local people and ensure similar success to that seen at the last Summer Games in London.

A special International Paralympic Day on the iconic beach will duly form part of a series of one-year-to-go events designed to raise the profile and boost sales, with organisers hoping to surpass the record 2.8 million tickets sold ahead of London 2012.

“With less than 500 days to go to South America’s first Paralympic Games, this Project Review focused heavily on how the Organising Committee, its partners and the IPC can engage the Rio and Brazilian public ahead of the launch of ticket sales on September 7,” said IPC chief executive Xavier Gonzalez.

“Rio 2016 is aiming to sell the most tickets ever for a Paralympic Games and it is important that sales get off to a good start which I think can be achieved through International Paralympic Day.

“The event will take place three weeks after the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games and will give the Brazilian public an opportunity to meet not just their medal winning heroes but also a number of the world’s best Para-athletes.”

An International Paralympic Day was first held in Bonn, with the event remaining on German soil until 2011, when it was held in London with a similar aim of launching ticket sales.

Over 25,000 people attended the event in Trafalgar Square, where demonstrations and challenges involving Paralympic sports and leading international athletes took place, including a wheelchair doubles match featuring British Prime Minster David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson.

IPC vice-president and chairman of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Integration Committee Andrew Parsons outlined how important it is that the Brazilian event is similarly successful.

“Many world records will be set by athletes during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, but the first one we hope will be broken by the public,” he said.

“The Brazilian people will play a major role in breaking the record for Paralympic Games ticket sales, but we are also counting on international fans to achieve this fantastic target.”

More details about the event are expected to be revealed over coming weeks, with full prices due to be announced on May 14.

Meanwhile, the Project Review inspection also heard updates on workforce, accommodation, finance, sport, broadcasting, commercial and marketing and communications, while Federal, State and City Governments gave presentations on latest transport, transport hubs and venues developments.

“Overall it was a very positive meeting with the Rio 2016 Organising Committee who continue to show great enthusiasm for delivering a hugely successful Paralympic Games next year,” added Gonzalez.

“Plans which have been years in the making are now coming to fruition and we are confident that Rio will build on the success of London 2012.”

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