Paralympics Receives Brazilian Bailout, in ‘Worst Situation’ in Its History

Britain's David Weir, known as "Weirwolf", has six Paralympics golds and a host of records including being the first man to finish a wheelchair mile in under three minutes

The Paralympics, scheduled to begin in Rio the second week of September, has come crashing into a budget crunch that was kept secret until last month forcing the games into its “worst situation” ever, according to insiders.

Coming only weeks after the end of the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, the Paralympics had hoped that it would continue bringing in high profile sponsorships and world-wide attention.

But as last month’s games were a seriously troubled affair with pollution-plagued waters and other health worries, hastily built facilities, and bad publicity, the Paralympics has found a serious budget shortfall that only recently became fully realized.

“This is the worst situation that we’ve ever found ourselves in at Paralympic movement,” International Paralympic Committee head. Phillip Craven, told The Associated Press. “We were aware of difficulties, but we weren’t aware it was as critical as this.”

The whole event was saved only by a last minute infusion of cash by the Brazilian government in a move contrary to the initial plans of being privately funded, the AP reports.

The Sept. 7-18 Paralympics games were saved by an infusion of $46.3 million by the city of Rio as well as an additional $30.7 million coming from the national government. The cash comes in the form of “sponsorships” by several government-owned entities, including oil company Petrobras.

But the last minute payout is still less than half the operating budget the Paralympics expected to have on hand as the games began. This will force organizers to make some cuts, though they still insist no sports will be left out of the games.

With ticket sales picking up as the games near, organizers hope to see between 1.5 and 2 million tickets for the games. And if at least 1.8 million tickets are sold it will become the highest selling Paralympics ever.

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