The Rio Paralympic Games have been amazing. These games were my first as an ITO (International Technical Official) after having had the experience of two Paralympic games as part of a coaching staff.
After arrival on Sunday evening September 4th, the Commissioners crew had a meeting in the Paralympic Village. During this meeting, the most important aspects of the wheelchair checking were discussed. The next day we were divided into two groups of 3 commissioners and we went to both arena’s to do the chair check’s.
On Wednesday the 7th, I had the time to go with 4 colleagues to the Copacabana. We had a good time strolling around and had some nice lunch with Ocean View. From the Copacabana we went by metro to the Maracanã Stadium to experience the Opening Ceremony of the Rio Games.
On Thursday the 8th, the tournament finally commenced. I started my first Paralympic games as an ITO with the men’s match between Great Britain and Algeria. In total I have had 9 games as Commissioner and it was a great joy to work with the NTO’s (National Technical Officials), referees and IWBF staff.
During these 9 games, I have seen great wheelchair basketball with great crowd in the stands. My job as commissioner finished after the preliminary round, when the basketball tournament went from 2 venues to 1.
From the 13th of September, I became a Paralympic tourist and I had the chance to see some great other sports like swimming and wheelchair tennis. Of course I watched a lot of wheelchair basketball as well!
Overall, it has been a great experience to have been in Rio as an ITO. I have seen a lot of old friends and made a lot of new friends in this great sport A big ” Thank You” to all the people that made the Rio Paralympic Games possible.