By David Gold

Dirceu Pinto_11-05-12May 11 - Brazil's Paralympians will be celebrated annually on September 22, following the passage of a law in the country's Parliament.

President Dilma Rousseff signed the law, which added September 22 as the National Day of the Paralympic Athlete to Brazil's official calendar of events, and it came into effect this week.

Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB) President Andrew Parsons congratulated Rousseff and Parliament for their actions, which will help highlight the efforts of the country's Paralympians in the build-up to Rio 2016.

"The date was well chosen," he said.

"It is just after the National Day of Struggle for People with Disabilities.

"This is a just recognition for our athletes, representing a Brazil which grows in adversity, overcomes and wins.

"This year in particular, we celebrate the first national day of Paralympic athletes with less than two weeks after the London Games, certainly we have much to celebrate and to honour many athletes."

The CPB was created in 2005 and Brazil is now one of the top ten Paralympic powers.

They are hoping to send 170 athletes to London this summer for the Paralympics.

Brazil finished with 47 medals from the last Paralympics in Beijing, taking 16 golds – including two from boccia player Dirceu Pinto (pictured above) – to finish ninth overall in the medal rankings.

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