Rio 2016™ celebrates Brazilian Independence Day and marks ‘four years to go’ until the start of the 2016 Paralympic Games

London, United Kingdom, 7 September 2012: The Rio 2016™ Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games [Rio 2016™] today celebrated Brazilian Independence Day and marked ‘four years to go’ until the start of the 2016 Paralympic Games.

As part of today’s celebration, the Rio 2016™ leadership unveiled the plans for the Paralympic flag handover presentation, which will take place during the London 2012 Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony on Sunday 9 September. The theme of Rio 2016’s™ eight minute presentation is ‘joyfulness’ and will promote the concepts of cultural diversity, blissful harmony and contagious energy – with an invitation to the nations of the world to come to Rio in four years time.

Rio 2016’s™ handover presentation will involve some of the great names of Brazilian music and dance and will be opened by the Funk do Passinho dance group. The whole celebration includes both disabled and able-bodied artists. The show includes performances by artists such as Herbert Vianna, Paralamas do Sucesso, Carlinhos Brown and Thalma de Freitas, who will join various dance groups on the Olympic Stadium stage.

The highlight of the handover performance will be a segment by the Brazilian dancers of the Royal Ballet Company, Thiago Soares and Roberta Marquez, who will conduct a routine with blind dancers of the Associação de Ballet e Artes para Cegos Fernanda Bianchini. Additional dance groups, the Grupo de Dança sobre Rodas Corpo em Movimento and Grupo Companhia Folclórica do Rio – UFRJ, will also share the stage to form a unique and exciting collaboration.

Brazilian Paralympic athletes Adria dos Santos and Daniel Dias will then take to the stage and conclude the show.

Cao Hamburger and Daniela Thomas are the show’s artistic directors, Abel Gomes is responsible for creative supervision, and Marco Balich is the executive producer.

Rio 2016™ CEO, Leonardo Gryner, said: “We were impressed by the organisation of London 2012, which provided athletes and spectators with an amazing experience, and took the Paralympic Games to a new level of popularity. We go home back to Rio soon with renewed energy to bring Brazilian joyfulness to the Games and transform the city and the country. We will ensure the great work here in London to promote inclusivity, accessibility and the great sport of the Paralympic Games will continue in Rio.”