Rio de Janeiro, Aug 26 (IANS) Brazil’s interim President Michel Temer lit the Paralympic torch as the final countdown to the Paralympic Games here.
At a ceremony in the capital Brasilia on Thursday, Temer was presented with the flame, before lighting a torch held by Brazilian sprinter Yohannson Nascimento, Xinhua news agency reported.
He praised the Paralympic spirit, saying Brazilians could identify with its underlying message.
“Throughout the country’s history Brazil has been able to overcome its challenges, just like the Paralympians have done,” Temer said.
The torch relay will begin September 1, passing through each of Brazil’s five regions before arriving at the Maracana stadium for the opening ceremony on September 7.
Temer said he would be present at the ceremony, adding that Rio was guaranteed to be a successful host.
“We showed during the Olympics that we know how to organise big events. People from all over the world doffed their hats to us after the Olympics and the same will be the case for the Paralympics,” Temer said.