Ticket sales for the first South American Paralympics, in Rio de Janeiro, have spiked from about 200,000 to 1.6 million. The cash-strapped event needed an injection of cash and optimism, and got both.
When the Rio Olympics ended on August 21 only 300,000 tickets had been sold, the organizers said.
Around 40,000 tickets per day are now being sold, with the event organizers expecting to overtake Beijing's sale of 1.7 million tickets total. This would making Rio the second best-attended Paralympics behind London 2012, Craig Spence, a spokesman for the International Paralympic Committee, said.
After more than a month of delays, travel grants were being paid Tuesday for all countries involved in the games. Some poorer nations had worried they would not be able to send athletes to Rio.
After a news conference on Tuesday, Spence said there were athletes from 159 countries on the ground in Brazil, plus two "independent" refugee athletes.
"It's helped by the fact that the Brazilian team did so well in the final weekend of the Olympics," Spence said. "It gave the Cariocas a flavor of what they can expect here in Rio with the Brazilian team chasing a top five finish in the medals table."
The games had been facing severe budget shortfalls and concerns about accessibility for the disabled athletes.
"It's impossible in the modern era to have a glitch-free games - you haven't seen any in history," Mario Andrada, the spokesman for the local organizing committee, said.
"As far as Rio 2016 is concerned, we hope to learn from the IPC as much as we learn from the IOC. We hope we can react to our glitches and, eventually, our mistakes as fast as we did during the Olympic Games," he said.
In 2015, then-Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff signed into law the Inclusion of People with Disabilities Act, which provides funding nationwide for the elimination of accessibility barriers.