Ottawa: The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, issued the following statement on the opening of the 2016 Paralympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:

“Tonight, we join more than 160 countries from around the world to celebrate the opening of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Summer Games.

“Over the course of the next 11 days, Canadians from coast to coast to coast will watch and cheer the 162 world-class athletes representing our country in 19 different sports. We are confident that these athletes will show the world what it means to be Canadian as they proudly wear the Maple Leaf and push for the podium.

“The drive and dedication that these athletes, coaches, and support staff have shown to make it to the highest level of sport competition is impressive – and now the entire world will have the privilege of watching them as they strive for their personal bests and embody in every way the international Paralympic motto of ‘Spirit in Motion’.

“I join all Canadians – the team behind the team, #35Mstrong – in wishing the very best to all of the athletes in Rio, and to thank them for inspiring all of us, especially our young people, to always strive for excellence. Go Canada!”