The Rio 2016 games were the most successful for Team USA in 20 years. Taking place Sept. 7-18 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, the American Paralympians brought home 115 medals — the most won by the team since the 1996 games held in Atlanta. This time around, the women stole the show, winning more than half the team’s medals — 70 total, including 24 gold, 24 silver and 21 bronze — and sweeping the podium twice in track and field events.

U.S. men's wheelchair basketball player Brian Bell topples to the floor in the match between the U.S. and Iran. His team went on to win the gold after defeating Spain. Photo by Thomas Lovelock.

U.S. men’s wheelchair basketball player Brian Bell topples to the floor in the match between the U.S. and Iran. His team went on to win the gold after defeating Spain. Photo by Thomas Lovelock.

Concerns that severe budget cuts and dismal early ticket sales would dampen enthusiam for the games proved unfounded, as sales picked up in the days before the games. Many events sold out and, as shown, the opening ceremonies were attended by an enthusiastic audience. Photo by Bob Martin.

Concerns that severe budget cuts and dismal early ticket sales would dampen enthusiam for the games proved unfounded, as sales picked up in the days before the games. Many events sold out and, as shown, the opening ceremonies were attended by an enthusiastic audience. Photo by Bob Martin.

U.S. extreme wheelchair athlete Aaron Fotheringham flies down a megaramp and bursts through a giant ring during the opening ceremonies to Rio's 2016 Paralympic Games. Photo by Al Tielemans.

U.S. extreme wheelchair athlete Aaron Fotheringham flies down a megaramp and bursts through a giant ring during the opening ceremonies to Rio’s 2016 Paralympic Games. Photo by Al Tielemans.

The U.S. sailing team took home a silver medal in the three-person keel boat event. This is the first time these three sailors have won a Paralympic medal. Photo by Loren Worthington.

The U.S. sailing team took home a silver medal in the three-person keel boat event. This is the first time these three sailors have won a Paralympic medal. Photo by Loren Worthington.

The stars of this year's Paralympic Games are these three women who swept the podium twice: silver medalist Chelsea McClammer, gold medalist Tatyana McFadden and bronze medalist Amanda McGrory. Photo by Bob Martin.

The stars of this year’s Paralympic Games are these three women who swept the podium twice: silver medalist Chelsea McClammer, gold medalist Tatyana McFadden and bronze medalist Amanda McGrory. Photo by Bob Martin.

Tatyana McFadden (above) won four gold and two silver, the most medals won by a Paralympian in track and field. Photos by Bob Martin.

Tatyana McFadden (above) won four gold and two silver, the most medals won by a Paralympian in track and field. Photo by Bob Martin.

The U.S. men's wheelchair basketball team celebrates winning its gold medal match against Spain. This is an historic eighth gold medal for the team, and its first gold since the Seoul games in 1988. It is the first year both the men and women brought home the gold since 1988, and the first time since 1996 that both teams medalled. Photo by Simon Bruty.

The U.S. men’s wheelchair basketball team celebrates winning its gold medal match against Spain. This is an historic eighth gold medal for the team, and its first gold since the Seoul games in 1988. It is the first year both the men and women brought home the gold since 1988, and the first time since 1996 that both teams medalled. Photo by Simon Bruty.

Gail Gaeng cheers as the women's wheelchair basketball team wins its third gold out of the last four Paralympic Games. Photo by Loren Worthington.

Gail Gaeng cheers as the women’s wheelchair basketball team wins its third gold out of the last four Paralympic Games. Photo by Loren Worthington.

Mike Tagliapietra competes in men's air pistol. Photo by Loren Worthington.

Mike Tagliapietra competes in men’s air pistol. Photo by Loren Worthington.

The U.S. mens goalball team took home the silver, emerging from what commentators called "the group of death," beating both Germany and Brazil to play in the final match against Lithuania. These blind athletes use eyeshades to ensure no player has an advantage in catching a ball with bells embedded in it. Photo by Loren Worthington.

The U.S. mens goalball team took home the silver, emerging from what commentators called “the group of death,” beating both Germany and Brazil to play in the final match against Lithuania. These blind athletes use eyeshades to ensure no player has an advantage in catching a ball with bells embedded in it.
Photo by Loren Worthington.

If women's tennis player Kaitlyn Verfuerth looks familiar, it is probably because she and her partner Greg were featured on the February 2014 cover of New Mobility. She competed in both singles and doubles in Rio, marking her third Paralympics appearance. Photo by Loren Worthington.

If women’s tennis player Kaitlyn Verfuerth looks familiar, it is probably because she and her partner Greg were featured on the February 2014 cover of New Mobility. She competed in both singles and doubles in Rio, marking her third Paralympics appearance.
Photo by Loren Worthington.

 

All photos courtesy of OIS/IOC