IOC president Thomas Bach to miss Paralympic Opening Ceremony

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach will miss Wednesday’s opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games in order to attend a state event in Germany.

The International Olympic Committee said Tuesday that Bach would attend the official state mourning ceremony on Wednesday for Walter Scheel, the former West Germany president.

“We understand that it was an unforeseen situation that happened in Europe,” Mario Andrada, the spokesman for the local organizing committee, said.

Bach has named IOC member Sam Ramsamy of South Africa to represent him at the opening ceremony at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

The Paralympics will feature 4,300 athletes, although none from Russia. The International Paralympic Committee has banned all Russian athletes because of alleged state-sponsored doping in the country.

The IOC permitted some Russian athletes to participate in the just-concluded Olympics, largely leaving the decision to international sports federations.