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Paralympic Games Begin in Brazil

Brazilian judo gold medalist Rafaela Silva, left, and Tomas Magalhaes, member of the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro, carry Paralympic torches in front of the Christ the Redeemer statue on its way for the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday,
Paralympics Begin in Brazil
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This is What’s Trending Today…

Rio de Janeiro is home for the next 11 days to thousands of athletes competing in the 2016 Paralympic Games. The Paralympics are an international sporting event for athletes with physical or intellectual impairments.

The 4,300 athletes come from more than 160 countries.

As the opening ceremony took place Wednesday night, organizers were dealing with budget concerns. They blame slow ticket and sponsorship sales.

The president of the International Paralympic Committee told the Associated Press, “This is the worst situation that we’ve ever found ourselves in at the Paralympic movement.”

Organizers are hoping to sell more than 2 million tickets to the sporting events. A total of 2.5 million tickets are available.

In Britain, Prince Harry is helping them reach that goal. He provided a personal donation to the #FilltheSeats movement. It is seeking to raise ticket money so that 10,000 Brazilian children can attend the Games. #FilltheSeats was started by Greg Nugent, who served as a marketing director for the London 2012 Games.

Nugent told The Canadian Press in August, “the idea that the seats in Rio might be empty saddened me, so instead of moaning, I thought we should try and do something about it.”

The #FilltheSeats movement announced earlier this week that it had raised a little more than $200,000. That is about two-thirds of its goal amount of $300,000.

Prince Harry and the #FilltheSeats movement trended on social media.

One Twitter user called Prince Harry’s act inspiring.

Another tweeted, “If we didn’t like Prince Harry enough already…”

In 2014, Prince Harry established the Invictus Games, a competition for wounded British service members.

Earlier this week, he tweeted good luck to all the Invictus athletes getting ready for the Rio Paralympic Games.

And that's What's Trending Today.

Caty Weaver wrote this report for VOA Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

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Words in This Story

intellectual - adj. of or relating to the ability to think in a logical way

impairment - n. of or relating to the ability to think in a logical way

moan - v. to express unhappiness about something; to complain