Rio’s the toast…of Rio!

Rio’s the toast…of Rio!

'Baby Bladerunner' Rio Woolf is in Rio for the Paralympic Games and will be writing about his stay in Brazil in a series of diary columns.

Andrew Sherwood is the Jewish News Sport and Community Editor

Rio and mum Juliette with the Paralympic Flame
Rio and mum Juliette with the Paralympic Flame

Eight-year-old amputee Rio Woolf is currently having “the time of his life” in Rio enjoying a trip to Brazil for the Paralympic Games.

Rio was born with tibial aplasia, which resulted in him having his right leg amputated through the knee.

Having arrived in Rio for the start of the Games, he joined his mother, Juliette, in carrying the Paralympic Flame, as well as meeting other Paralympians.

The pair also met the British Ambassador, Prince Edward and GB sprint runner Jonathan Peacock, MBE, on Monday, while 24 hours earlier, appeared on national TV in Brazil.

• Read below Rio’s first diary entry of his stay in Rio, as he takes in the sights & sounds of the Paralympic Games:

“It’s been an amazing first week here at the Rio 2016 Paralympics!

“It was very exciting to walk with Mummy when she carried the Paralympic Flame for Ottobock in the Torch Relay in Rio – everyone was cheering us and taking photos!

“We walked 200m with the torch and then Mummy made her torch touch the next torch bearer’s torch – it’s called “the kissing of the flames” – to light it up and then we got back in the special bus – it was really great!

“We went to the Opening Ceremony which was spectacular – it was incredible when the wheelchair stuntman raced down the ramp and jumped through the ring of fire!

“We’ve seen a lot of sport – so far we’ve been to 7-aside Football, Sitting Volleyball, Para-Tri, swimming and four Athletics sessions – we saw Jonnie Peacock, Richard Whitehead, Dave Henson, Hannah Cockcroft and David Weir, and my favourite Brazilian Paralympian Alan Fonteles racing on the track and we waved our big Union Jack Help for Heroes flag for the ParalympicsGB athletes and our Brazilian flag for Alan and the Brazilian athletes!

“We went to a special party where an amputee dancer was doing the capoeira which is a Brazilian dance and he asked me to join in with him – it was really fun!

“It was very exciting to be on a sports show on Brazilian TV on Sunday with Mummy and Daddy and to be on ITV News on Monday with Andy Lewis who won gold in the Para-Triathlon. He let me try on his medal – it was much heavier than my gold plastic and chocolate medals!

“On Monday met so many Paralympians at The British House – the British Ambassador invited us and I had a really fun pillow fight with him!

“We also met Will Bayley, the Table Tennis champion and he let me try on his gold medal too!

“Then I met another Prince (I’ve already met Prince Harry twice!) – Prince Edward! He was really nice and was asking me all about my blade and which sports I like and which ones I’ve seen at Rio 2016.

“I’m really looking forward to another fantastic week of sport in my favourite city!”  

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