Rio 2016 Paralympics begin amid concerns of low ticket sales
리우 2016 패럴림픽 개막
The 2016 Paralympics have officially opened in Rio.
The opening ceremony had all the glitz and glamour you'd expect, but low ticket sales, budget issues and a lack of volunteers are casting a shadow over the celebration of sport.
Kwon Jang-ho reports.
The 2016 Paralympics have begun.
18 days after the Olympics closed in Rio, the Maracana Stadium Wednesday night was once again filled with samba music, colorful dancers and elaborate fireworks, as well some incredible somersaulting stunts by a wheelchair athlete.
Over the next eleven days, 43-hundred athletes from 159 countries will be competing in 23 Paralympic sports.
That includes the one-hundred-39 competitors from South Korea, who've set a target of twelve gold medals and a top-ten finish.
There are also two athletes representing North Korea, as well as two members of the refugee team competing under the Olympic flag.
But as with last month's Olympics, empty seats and low ticket sales are again a big concern.
The organizers have said a late upsurge in interest is expected to lead to tickets selling out, but with about a million of the 2-and-a-half million tickets still available on Monday, that could be optimistic.
Drastically reduced budgets and a shortage of volunteers threaten to disrupt events as well.
But it's hoped that much like the Olympics last month, once the games begin, the focus will be on athletic achievement and not the off-stage drama.
Kwon Jang-Ho, Arirang News.
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