The sky above the revered Maracana Stadium in the football mecca of Brazil was emblazoned with colour as the thunder of fireworks, amidst a pageantry of music, dance and iridescent lighting, signaled the start of the Games
A creation of designer Fred Gelli, writer Marcelo Rubens Paiva and artist Vic Muniz Gelli, the drama unfolded under the theme “Everybody has a Heart”and reflected the the varying physical conditions and emotions of human life with a reminder of the panacea of love, respect, and solidarity.
Jamaica’s flag bearer, Shane Hudson, was obviously solemn with pride. For the first time, the national colours were in his custody and control on a global scene: “‘it was humbling, totally reverent” Hudson said as he joined over four thousand athletes from over one hundred and sixty teams, led by Syrian refugee Imbrahim AL Hussein,in a parade celebrating sport.
The Olympic flame was lit as cheers rang out in the ironic arena built in 1950 to host the World Cup of that year; and although seventy years have expired since then and with it refurbishment, the edifice, where dreams and aspirations have been realized and failure bitterly swallowed, continues to retain, unmistakably, an inspired sense of history .Not even the modernal scintillating performance of “Dancing with the Stars” and USA snowboarder and Paralympic medalist Amy Purdy and others at the ceremony,could discount the glory of the past.
Chef de Mission, Javon Campbell, was in charge of Jamaica’s “walk” which will be recorded as another inspired journey in the annals of local Paralympic history.