Paralympics 2016: Google marks the start of the games with an animated doodle

Rio de Janiero is playing host to the 15th Games as the opening ceremony kicks off

Caroline Mortimer
Wednesday 07 September 2016 09:19
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The Paralympic flame will be lit at the opening ceremony on Wednesday
The Paralympic flame will be lit at the opening ceremony on Wednesday

Google has marked the start of the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janiero with an animated Doodle showing cartoon characters competing in events.

The doodle shows several cartoon figures competing in some of the 22 different events including swimming, wheelchair racing, football and blade running.

The 11-day tournament will get underway following the opening ceremony on Wednesday with 10-time champion equestrian rider Lee Pearson due to perform as Britain's flag bearer.

2016 Rio Paralympic Games in numbers

The self-described "colourful character" was chosen following a vote by the 264-strong Paralympics GB team who are competing in 19 events.

He said: “I am so proud and honoured to be the flag bearer for such a talented, strong and passionate group of British athletes.

“Being a diverse character myself has meant that being voted by the athletes themselves made this moment even more special.

“I genuinely feel that we are among the best prepared and supported athletes at the Paralympic Games and I can’t wait to lead my fellow teammates from ParalympicsGB into the stadium in a day’s time – I hope I don’t get blown away.”

Pearson was born with anthrogryposis multiplex congenital, meaning his limbs were twisted and he has very little muscle.

The tournament - the 15th since the first official Paralympic Games were held in Rome in 1964 - has been unable to escape some of the controversy surrounding its sister games, the Olympics, as the entire Russian team were banned for alleged state sponsored doping.

A German court dismissed appeals by the 84 Russian athletes seeking to compete on Tuesday saying the International Paralympic Committee was under no obligation to allow them to compete.

The state court in Bonn, where the IPC is based, rejected the athletes' bid for an injunction forcing the organisation to allow them to compete.

Another 10 Russians had a similar application rejected on Monday.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport previously upheld the IPC's decision, and the IPC last week rejected the athletes' request for "individual admission" to the games.

The International Olympic Committee decided to judge whether each Russian Olympic athlete should be allowed to compete on a case by case basis.

The controversy did not end there for the athletes who were allowed to compete with US swimmer Lilly King seen "wagging her finger" at her Russian rival Yuliya Efimova who won an 11th hour appeal against a doping ban to compete.

Additional reporting by AP

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