Thousands of performers were involved either side of the two-hour procession of competing countries at the Maracana on Wednesday.
The opening ceremony began with American Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham, in a wheelchair, jumping from a massive ramp from the Maracana stands and performing a back flip through a giant ring.
The Brazilian national anthem was played on the piano by Carlos Martin, whose right hand is severely disabled, before the parade of athletes.
One of the most striking parts of the ceremony was when bright lights temporarily ‘blinded’ the crowd to try and show spectators the reality Paralympic athletes face.
This forced them to rely on other senses such as hearing.
Finally the flame was lit in driving rain, in front of a cheering crowd.