There were 30 gold medals up for grabs across a wide range of sports and included the host nation's first Paralympic champion of 2016 and a British athlete making history.
CNN brings you the highlights of an action-packed opening day.
Kenya's Samwel Kimani kicked off day one of the Rio Paralympics by winning the first gold medal of the Games.
Kimani powered to victory with a personal best of 15:16.11 in the men's 5,000m T11 class -- a category for blind athletes.
It's the second gold for the 26-year-old, who set the world record winning the 1,500m at London 2012.
Brazil's Odair Santos followed in silver position, while fellow Kenyan Eric Sang won the bronze -- sending the East African nation to the top of the medals table at the outset of the competition.
Brazil's poster boy delivers
Swimmer Daniel Dias, one of the faces of these Paralympic Games
, had the weight of a nation on his shoulders as he dived into the pool -- not that you would have noticed.
After cruising into the 200m freestyle S5 final in the morning heats, you would have forgiven the 10-time Olympic gold medalist for feeling a little pressure.
As he entered the swimming arena for the final, a deafening roar went up from the capacity crowd but the confident 28-year-old wasn't fazed for a minute.
Touching the wall well ahead of his nearest rival to claim his 11th gold, Dias climbed out of the pool with a beaming smile as his name echoed around the arena.
Incidentally, Clodoaldo Silva, the man who lit the Paralympic cauldron during the opening ceremony, is Dias' hero. A fitting way for this Brazilian Paralympic story to come full circle in Rio.
A golden Storey
British cyclist Sarah Storey made history in the velodrome by winning her twelfth gold to become the nation's most decorated female Paralympian of all time.
She beat fellow Brit Crystal Lane in the C5 3,000m individual pursuit with a truly dominant display, catching and overlapping her compatriot after just 1,375m meters to retain her Paralympic title.
The 38-year-old previously won five Paralympic swimming medals, the first coming at Barcelona 1992 when she was only 14.
After ruling in the water, she then switched to the bike at Beijing 2008 where she won the individual pursuit on her debut.
C5 is the classification for athletes with the least impairment using standard bicycles -- Storey was born without a functioning left hand.
She equaled wheelchair racer Tanni Grey-Thompson's 11 golds at London 2012, so tonight's victory marks a huge milestone for the mother of one.
"I'd thought about being the most decorated Paralympian until two days ago -- but Tanni's still a hero to me," Storey told reporters after the final.
"To go quicker than London after having my daughter Louisa is the icing on the cake."
Brazil's first gold
The host nation got its first gold early on day one, as Ricardo Costa de Oliveira immediately made himself a national hero by winning the men's long jump, also in the T11 category, in dramatic fashion.
It was a case of saving his best till last, as Team USA's Lex Gillette snatched the lead in the penultimate round of jumps, despite Oliveira leading the field throughout the opening four rounds.
Gillette thought he had gold sewn up with a jump of 6.44m, but Oliveira produced a huge leap of 6.52m to snatch the gold with his final effort, much to the delight of the crowd inside the stadium.
Ukraine's Ruslan Katyshev, the defending champion from London 2012, was unable to retain his title and claimed the bronze medal.
The gold was Brazil's third medal of a successful opening day, after Santos won silver in the 5,000m and Caio Vinicius Pereira claimed bronze in the men's F12 shot put.
The member of Team Belarus that held aloft a Russian flag during the opening ceremony has had his Rio 2016 accreditation canceled, Craig Spence, IPC director of communications, confirmed.
After allegations of state-sponsored doping, the IPC imposed a blanket ban on all Russian para-athletes
, leaving more than 80 at home and unable to compete.
Russia did host its own alternate Paralympics
, much like it did for the Olympic Games, just outside of Moscow.
Political statements are not permitted by the IPC and president Sir Philip Craven has staunchly defended the organization's decision.
"This decision has placed a huge burden upon all our shoulders, but it's a decision we've had to take in the best interests of the Paralympic Movement," he said at the time.
Officials managed to remove the flag within 20 minutes, but do not plan on taking disciplinary action against any of Belarus' athletes.