Paralympics Ends With Celebration, Mourning

Brazil's 1,192-day run of mega-events is over
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 19, 2016 2:07 AM CDT
Paralympics Ends With Celebration, Mourning
Musician Jonathan Bastos plays a guitar with his feet during the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.   (Al Tielemans)

The Paralympic Games came to an end Sunday night with a closing ceremony before 45,000 spectators at Rio's Maracana stadium filled with tributes to Bahman Golbarnezhad, the Iranian cyclist who died after a crash Saturday, the BBC reports. International Paralympic Committee president Philip Craven said the movement is "united in grief," though he praised the "uniquely Brazilian and wondrous" Rio Paralympics. China topped the final medal count with 239 including 107 golds, followed by Great Britain with 147 medals, Ukraine with 117, and the US with 115, including 40 golds.

Sunday brought an end to Brazil's 1,192-day run of hosting mega-sports events, which started with soccer's Confederations Cup in 2013 and included the 2014 World Cup, the AP reports. Awarded when Brazil was a rising economic power, the sports pageants focused unprecedented attention on the country—much of it unwanted. As the shows went on, Brazil plunged into a deep recession. A billion-dollar corruption scandal buffeted state-run oil company Petrobras, and President Dilma Rousseff was removed from office in an impeachment trial just days after the Olympics closed. Analysts say it all left a "mixed legacy" and the true impact may not be known for years. (Read more Paralympics stories.)

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