4 incredible moments you missed from the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro

4 incredible moments you missed from the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro
Source: AP
Source: AP

You probably didn't know the Paralympic Games were still underway in Rio De Janeiro, and it wouldn't be totally fair to blame you:

During the 2016 Olympics Games, NBCUniversal dedicated 6,755 hours to televising sports events and related coverage. For the Paralympic Games? Sixty-six hours.

But hey! That's an improvement over the 50 hours they gave the Winter Paralympics in 2014, and the 5.5 hours they dedicated to the 2012 Paralympics.

In any case, the lack of coverage for the Paralympics resulted in many people missing out on some mind-blowing feats and events. Here's what you've missed:

1. Aaron Fotheringham slid down a flaming ramp and did a front flip through a gigantic hula hoop — all while in a wheelchair.

Aaron Fotheringham
Source: 
Channel 4/BE-News/YouTube

Gnarly!

2. All three medalists ran the 1,500m race faster than the gold medalist in the same race at the 2016 Olympics.

Tamiru Demisse, Abdellatif Baka, and Henry Kirwa.
Source: 
Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images

Algeria's Abdellatif Baka — who is visually impaired — ran the 1500m race in three minutes and 48.29 seconds. That's 17 seconds faster than 2016 Olympic gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz.

Ethiopia's Tamiru Demisse and Kenya's Henry Kirwa placed second and third just a few milliseconds behind Baka. Baka's brother, Fouad, finished in fourth place with a time of three minutes and 49.84 seconds. 

He was also faster than the 2016 Olympic Champion.

3. Daniel Dias, who has less experience swimming competitively than Michael Phelps, won 20 Paralympic medals in swimming.

Daniel Dias
Source: 
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Daniel Dias is a late bloomer in the swimming world, having started swimming competitively at age 16. At 28, he's shattering records and inching ever closer to Michael Phelps' legendary Olympic medal count of 28.

The Brazilian swimmer ended up winning his fifth gold medal in the 50-meter freestyle at the 2016 Paralympic Games, in the S5 category. That's the 20th medal he's earned in his Paralympic career. So far, that count includes 12 gold, six silver and two bronze medals.

While Dias enjoys being mentioned in the same breath as Phelps, he takes special pride in his identity as a Paralympic athlete.

"I am very happy to be compared to such an amazing athlete, but I am Daniel Dias," the champion swimmer told Paralympic.org in an interview. "And I want to do the best for Paralympic sports."

4. Australia defended their gold medal in wheelchair rugby.

Australia defended their Paralympic gold medal in wheelchair rugby at the 2016 Rio Games.
Source: 
Leo Correa/AP

If you think American football is tough, wait until you see wheelchair rugby. 

With no padding or helmets, Paralympic rugby players carry a ball up and down the court while bumping and clashing their steel wheelchairs into their opponents'.

This year, Australia proved their dominance when they won gold against Canada in a 66-51 victory. In doing so, they defended their gold from the 2012 London Paralympics, when they defeated Canada and the United States. 

Watch Mic's Sage Boggs call out the lack of Paralympics coverage below:

Source: YouTube

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Sarah A. Harvard

Sarah is a staff writer covering religion, race and politics. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Atlantic, Slate, The Huffington Post, TeenVogue, and VICE. Send tips and feedback: sharvard@mic.com

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