2020 Tokyo Paralympics Open With a Spectacular Ceremony

The Paralympic Games in Tokyo has officially been opened on Tuesday, 364 days later than planned due to the coronavirus.

“Paralympic athletes know that no matter which way the wind blows, its power can be harnessed to move forward. They know that by being brave and spreading their wings, they can reach extraordinary heights.”

Those were the words of the Tokyo organizers who let the Games begin.

The opening ceremony at the Japan National Stadium was full of color with the concept ‘We Have Wings’ intending to raise awareness of the courage of Paralympians.

“I cannot believe we are finally here,” said Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee, in his opening speech.

“Many doubted this day would happen. Many thought it impossible. But thanks to the efforts of many, the most transformative sport event on earth is about to begin.”

Just like the Olympics, the Paralympics will be different this year but most importantly the power of sport will prevail.

There were no spectators at the stadium as it will be the case during the competition.

A rescue worker was among those who carried the Japanese flag into the stadium, while the Paralympic flag was handed over to eight key workers who supported the people of Japan in their day-to-day lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The hosts are hoping that the Games will be a catalyst for societal attitudes towards disability in Japan.

The Paralympic cauldron is placed lower than its Olympic one and it was lit by a trio of Japanese Para-athletes.

In all, about 4,400 athletes from 162 national Paralympic committees will compete in 539 medal events across 22 sports in Tokyo, the first city to hold the summer Paralympics twice, having first done so in 1964.