The Paralympic Torch relay begins on Thursday, Sep 1, to cover all regions of the country until the Opening Ceremony of the Rio Paralympic Games, on Sep 7, at the Maracanã Stadium. Besides Brasília – where the torch was lit on Thursday, August 25, in a ceremony at the Palácio do Planalto – the relay will go through the towns of Belém, Natal, São Paulo and Joinville, until it reaches Rio de Janeiro. The torch numbers include a total of 250 kilometers traveled by road, 4,650 miles traveled by air and 700 torchbearers.
The flame that will light the Maracanã Stadium during the Opening Ceremony will be formed by the union of five flames in Brazil and one in Stoke Mandeville, England, the birthplace of the Paralympic Movement. In a virtual campaign launched by the Rio 2016 Committee, people from all over the world will be able to send positive messages using hashtags and building up enough power to light each flame. After the local ceremonies, which will happen in each city during the morning, the Paralympic Torch will take over the streets in the hands of its bearers and visit 28 special locations, including rehabilitation centers and institutes of visually impaired people.
Each flame will symbolize a Paralympic value: in Brasilia, equality; in Belém, determination; in Natal, inspiration; in Joinville, courage; in São Paulo, the power of transformation; and in Rio de Janeiro, the passion for sports. To participate, just post on social networks a message using the official hashtag and the hashtag of the value embraced by the city of your choice. To light the flame of Brasília, for example, you must use #ChamaParalímpica and #Igualdade.
The five flames will reach Rio through digital roads. They will be sent virtually to the host city after the end of the relay in each region. On September 6, a ceremony for the union of flames will form the Paralympic Flame at the Museum of Tomorrow, a landmark in the redevelopment of the Port Region. The event will mark the beginning of the relay in the city, which will last two days and mobilize 360 torchbearers.
The flame will burn throughout the Paralympic Games in the Candelária pyre, located in downtown Rio.