The Tokyo Paralympics Opening Ceremony was a celebration of the power of sport and the spirit of people with disabilities. It was also an opportunity for Japan to show off its cultural diversity.
The paralympics 2020 is the upcoming Summer Paralympic Games that will take place in Tokyo, Japan. This article highlights some of the opening ceremony highlights from the event.
Here’s what you should be aware of:
Credit: The New York Times/Chang W. Lee
Credit… The New York Times/Chang W. Lee Credit… The New York Times/Chang W. Lee Credit… The New York Times/Chang W. Lee Credit… The New York Times/Chang W. Lee
Athletes from the Japanese Paralympic team perform during the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium. Credit… The New York Times/Chang W. Lee
The host country, Japan, closed off the parade of countries, as is customary. Koyo Iwabuchi, a table tennis player and two-time Paralympian, is one of the two flag carriers and is presently ranked second in the world and a favorite to win a medal in Tokyo.
In the past five Paralympic games, Japan has not won a medal in table tennis, and Iwabuchi has said that he intends to change that. He is also renowned for stating “more than a gold medal,” implying that he competes not for a medal but for people to understand and respect the importance of para sports.
Mami Tani, the other flag bearer for Japan, has participated in the long jump at three previous Paralympic Games. She will participate as a triathlon in Tokyo. In 2015, she gave birth to a boy and began competing in triathlons the following year.
Athletes from the United States Paralympic team attend the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium. Credit… The New York Times/Chang W. Lee
TOKYO — In the parade of countries, Melissa Stockwell, a triathlete and Iraq War veteran, and Chuck Aoki, the captain of the United States wheelchair rugby team, carried the flag and led the American squad.
Stockwell, 41, a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient, will participate in her third Paralympic Games in the triathlon. In 2008, she participated in three swimming events and returned in 2016, when triathlon was introduced to the Paralympics, where she won a bronze medal. In 2008, she was selected to carry the flag during the closing ceremony.
Aoki, 30, will participate in his third Paralympics, having previously won bronze with his team in 2012 and silver in 2016, when the United States lost a thrilling final to Australia.
During the opening ceremony, different colors are projected into the field where the competitors are seated. Credit… The New York Times/Chang W. Lee
TOKYO, JAPAN — Bhutan, Grenada, the Maldives, Paraguay, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines all sent competitors to the Paralympics for the first time this year.
This year, a total of 21 nations have chosen not to participate. Pandemic travel restrictions, the lack of a qualified athlete, and pregnancy were among the reasons.
The Paralympic Games in Tokyo will include 162 countries and a refugee delegation. That’s more than attended the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and just short of the all-time high of 164 in London in 2012.
In lieu of the country’s missing athletes, a volunteer carries the Afghan flag. Credit… The New York Times/Chang W. Lee
Because of the turmoil surrounding the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, paralympic competitors from that nation were unable to travel to Tokyo safely. However, a paralympic volunteer wearing a three-tone blue Tokyo 2020 jersey carried the Afghan flag into the procession of athletes as a mark of respect for the country’s two paralympians. The flag was also carried by a representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
The show of solidarity came after reports surfaced that a number of Afghan athletes, including paralympians, had left Kabul with the assistance of a group of Australian athletes.
Two Afghan paralympians were among a group of more than 50 athletes — including soccer players, referees, and their families — who had obtained refuge in Australia, according to Nikki Dryden, a former Canadian Olympian turned human rights lawyer who was engaged in the campaign. The athletes and their families were given humanitarian visas, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“The operation is still continuing, but at least 50 athletes and their families are on flights or — for us, getting them safely into the airport was a win,” Dryden told ABC.
She noted that the two Paralympians were “safely out of Afghanistan.” She did not name them and said that she was uncertain whether or not they would participate in Tokyo.
During the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Paralympic Games, the Refugee Paralympic Team led the parade of countries into the Olympic Stadium. Credit… The New York Times/Chang W. Lee
TOKYO — The athletes’ procession is usually the highlight of the opening ceremony. Greece always marches in first in the Olympics because it is the country where the games began. Because coronavirus regulations prevent competitors from entering the Paralympic Village until five days before their events, the number of participants in the Paralympic parade is expected to be reduced in contrast to a normal Games.
The Refugee Paralympic Squad, making its second appearance at the Games, was the first team to enter the stadium on Tuesday.
Both flag bearers are very important. Alia Issa is the first woman on a refugee squad at the Paralympics, having been born in Greece after her family left Syria. In track and field, she will participate in the club throw event.
The sole Afghan athlete in the Games will be Abbas Karimi, a swimmer and refugee who has resided in the United States since 2016. The country’s athletes withdrew from the Games because they were unable to arrange safe flights to Tokyo due to the turmoil caused by the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. Karimi has resided in Portland, Oregon, and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where he received his training. He’ll compete in the 50-meter backstroke and 50-meter butterfly events.
During the commencement of the opening ceremony, Emperor Naruhito of Japan and Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee, waved. Credit… Associated Press/Eugene Hoshiko
TOKYO, JAPAN — The Paralympic Games will be formally opened by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, Naruhito. When the current emperor’s parents, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko, were Crown Prince and Princess, they chose the 1964 Paralympics in Tokyo as one of their main causes. Tokyo is the first city in the world to hold two Paralympic Games.
According to Kenneth J. Ruoff, a historian and Imperial Japan expert at Portland State University, the backing of the then-Crown Prince and Princess began a gradual shift in views toward people with disabilities in Japan.
Professor Ruoff said, “However difficult it may be to accept today, there were sayings at the time that individuals with impairments should be kept out of sight or hidden.”
The royal family wielded considerable social power at the time, according to Ruoff, and the Crown Prince influenced public opinion by advocating that people with disabilities “should play sports for the same reasons as everyone else, which included first and foremost enjoyment and not just rehabilitation.”
Following the 1964 Paralympics, the Imperial couple visited hospitals and institutions where people with impairments were housed on a regular basis.
“Over decades, the emperor and empress steadfastly continued to bring attention to individuals with impairments by visiting them with the media in tow,” Ruoff added.
Before the opening ceremony, the Olympic Cauldron was closed and lighted in an empty stadium. Credit… The New York Times/Chang W. Lee
TOKYO, JAPAN — The Paralympic Games, according to its organizers, are more than just a sporting event. They’ve framed it as a means to bring attention to the 15% of the world’s population who are disabled.
At a press conference a day before the opening ceremony, Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee, stated, “This is the only global event that places people with disabilities at the center stage and provides voice to those with disabilities.” “Throughout the epidemic, they have been left behind and refused access to the same level of assistance as non-disabled people.”
Getting people to pay attention to the Games, which start little over two weeks after the Olympics, may be difficult, especially in Japan, where a continuous wave of coronavirus infections has wracked the medical system and alarmed the public.
There were far fewer people outside the Olympic Stadium on Tuesday before the event than there were before the opening ceremony of the Olympics, when hordes of people came to snap pictures along the road surrounding the stadium. On Tuesday, a group of around ten individuals formed a queue in front of the venue, pointing their smartphones towards it. The poor attendance may be attributed in part to the fact that the Paralympic event was held on a weekday, while the Olympics’ opening ceremony was held on a Friday night and the closing ceremonies were held on a Sunday.
The absence of people was welcomed by Hanako Ohkawa, 34. Her two children, ages 4 and 6, accompanied her to the stadium. They were dressed in caps featuring Olympic and Paralympic mascots.
Ohkawa said, “We didn’t come on the day of the Olympics opening ceremony because we believed there would be too many people.” She expressed concern about the coronavirus spreading in Tokyo, but said, “Now that the Olympics have occurred, there isn’t much they can do about it.” They can’t call off the Paralympics because that would be unjust.”
Takeru Shibata, a 27-year-old recruiter, happened to pass by the stadium just before the game began. “ He replied, “I had no idea the opening ceremony was today.” “I would watch Paralympic matches if they were shown on TV, but I have no plans to watch anything.”
The “Three Agitos” emblem for the Paralympics in Tokyo. Credit… The New York Times/Chang W. Lee
When: Tuesday, 6:55 a.m. until 10 a.m. Eastern time
Where to find it: NBCSN, NBCOlympics.com, and the NBC Sports app.
TOKYO, JAPAN — On Tuesday, the 16th Summer Paralympics will begin with an opening ceremony at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium. Except for the Paralympic competitors, their support staff, stadium employees, volunteers, and members of the news media, the stadium has a capacity of 68,000 people but will be mostly vacant due to the coronavirus epidemic.
On Tuesday, at 6:55 a.m. Eastern time, NBCSN will begin a live coverage of the opening ceremony. The ceremony will be rebroadcast on NBCSN at 7 p.m. the same night, leading into live coverage of the competition’s opening day.
NBCSN is scheduled to broadcast live coverage of competition every night of the Games, typically from 9 p.m. until 9 a.m. Eastern. On NBC and the Olympic Channel, there will be additional coverage. The following is a complete list of Paralympic television listings on NBC, NBCSN, and Olympic Channel.
- paralympics 2021
- tokyo 2020 olympics
- paralympic games