RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 8 (UPI) — Brazilian President Michel Temer, who formally took his post after Dilma Rousseff‘s recent impeachment, was booed during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.
The ceremony came a day after Rousseff left her presidential residence following her removal from the presidency. Temer, who played a minor role in the ceremony by opening up the Games and handing over ceremonial roles to performers, was booed by the crowd — made up of mostly Brazilians.
Carlos Nuzman, Rio Olympics 2016 organizing committee president, was also booed prior to Temer, who served as Rousseff’s vice president. Rousseff has accused Temer of playing a part in the alleged “coup d’etat” against her that saw her removal.
Temer has also been linked to a corruption investigation related to the Petrobras bribery scandal. Dozens of politicians have been indicted on corruption, money laundering and racketeering in the Petrobras scandal, in which Brazilian Federal Police said indicted members moved over $3.9 billion in what police term as “atypical” financial transactions.
Rousseff supporters have protested against Temer and his alleged role in removing the former president — with some calling him the “Usurper.”
Wednesday’s opening ceremony began with Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham, a U.S. athlete who is in a wheelchair, rolling down from a massive ramp in the Maracana stadium’s stands to perform a back flip through a giant ring. The Brazilian national anthem was played by Carlos Martin, a pianist whose right hand is disabled.
In the parade of athletes, each nation carried a jigsaw piece. The pieces held the name of their country on one side and the faces of that country’s competing athletes on the other side. When placed together, the jigsaw pieces formed a beating heart that began to beat in rhythm with music.
The Maracana stadium’s crowd cheered for the majority of the two-hour ceremonial event, with the most cheers of the night going to the presentation of the Brazilian team. The flame was lit in the rain and in front of the cheering crowd by Marcia Malsar, a Brazilian gold-winning Paralympian.