Andrew Bottomley: ‘loud, proud and supportive’

It only took me one day to realize it.

Brazilians are some of the biggest fans I have ever witnessed.

The reception that they gave to athletes from countries from all over the world was nothing short of inspirational. Whether it was their neighbours, like Peru and Argentina, or smaller nations like Jamaica, during the Opening Ceremonies, the fans who packed Maracana Stadium were on their feet to cheer all Paralympians alike.

No matter what the event was, whether it was wheelchair basketball, tennis, judo, or sitting volleyball, the Brazilians in attendance were welcoming – shouting, cheering and displaying nothing but positivity.

It was a true expression of international sportsmanship in a place that was deemed to be a disaster by the media in the weeks preceding the events. They could not have been more wrong.

There was no proliferation of stick-ups, attacks or other petty crimes. The events did not fall apart or erupt into chaos as originally predicted. Sure, there were some hiccups, but they drew more attention than was warranted and stole the spotlight from the athletes whom deserved it.

The fact of the matter is, the Games were a success, and lost in all the negativity and fear mongering, the true story of both the Olympic and Paralympic games was covered up.

The Brazilians were loud, proud and supportive.

Thank you, Rio De Janeiro.