The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games: inspiration as a possible legacy for disabled Brazilians

Doralice Lange De Souza, Ian Brittain

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    85 Downloads (Pure)


    This work is part of a larger qualitative and exploratory study that investigated the legacies of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (PG) in Brazil. We conducted in-depth open interviews with 24 disability rights activists and people in Paralympic sport managerial positions. The goal of this paper is to explore one of the main perceived legacies: inspiration. For the participants, the PG were inspiring for disabled people (DP) because they showed the capabilities of DP, revealed new possibilities for their lives, and motivated them to engage in or remain engaged in sports. They were also inspiring for non-disabled people (NDP) because the examples of athletes ‘overcoming’ their impairments and related environmental and social barriers, motivated people to reconsider their own reality. While some participants criticised hero/super-hero narratives, most argued that these narratives are also common regarding NDP and that DP should not be treated differently. For them, these narratives still have some positive potential.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)78-93
    Number of pages16
    JournalEuropean Journal for Sport and Society
    Issue number1
    Early online date2 Feb 2021
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2022

    Bibliographical note

    This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in [European Journal for Sport and Society]. [Lange De Souza, D & Brittain, I 2022, 'The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games: inspiration as a possible legacy for disabled Brazilians', European Journal for Sport and Society , vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 78-93.].

    It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


    This work was supported by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior–Brazil (CAPES)


    • Paralympic Games
    • Rio 2016
    • disabled people
    • inspiration
    • legacies

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
    • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
    • Sociology and Political Science


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