Russian Federation holds 'alternative games' in defiance over Paralympics ban

Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has called a representative of Belarus who carried a Russian flag at the Paralympics opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro "a hero".

"We are all part of one world". "This is the person who unveiled a Russian flag in honour of the Russian Paralympic team and showed solidarity with people who were disgracefully treated in an inhumane way in not be allowed to compete at the Paralympics", Zakharova told Interfax news agency.

At a glitzy opening ceremony in a concert hall just outside Moscow, Russian pop stars serenaded disappointed members of the country's Paralympic team ahead of two days of competitions. And there was the cast applauding an imaginary sunset, another ritual in this beach town. "Our aim is to sell around 2.4 million", he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Craven said ticket sales for the 11-day Paralympics had reached nearly 1.7 million, having risen from 300,000 less than three weeks ago. This is partly a result of the reasonable prices for many tickets. Police had planned to "summon" Bach if he came for the opening ceremony, though there is no evidence he knew about the ticket scam. He thus became the first athlete to enter the stadium for the 2016 Games.

After the IPC imposed a blanket ban on all Russian athletes for alleged state-sponsored doping, the country decided it would host its own Games, much like it did for its banned Olympic athletes.

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It would be unwise to pretend all is now well, as a mention of government from Carlos Arthur Nuzman, president of the Rio Organizing Committee, drew loud and extended boos from the Maracana crowd, forcing him to stop mid-speach for several minutes.

Temer took over as president after Dilma Rousseff was removed from office on impeachment charges a week ago by the federal senate.

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However, controversy hung over the now show by International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach - the first absence of an IOC chief since the 1984 Summer Games.