The Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Starts Today!
The long-awaited Tokyo 2020 Paralympics kicks off today (August 24th), after a pandemic-related hiatus that saw the event cancelled last year to allow the world to deal with the strange events of the covid-19 crisis.
But the 16th Paralympic Games is finally getting underway, the second time that the Japanese capital has played host to the event after first holding it back in 1964. In all, 537 events will be put on, featuring 22 different sports, with taekwondo and badminton appearing in the tournament for the first time ever.
Sad news for Welsh hopes, however, with the news just in that Matt Bush – Para Taekwondo World Champion – forced to withdraw from the Games because of an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
The opening ceremony itself saw the Afghanistan flag carried in by a volunteer, after the two athletes from the country who were going to compete had to be withdrawn by the Afghanistan Paralympic Committee because of cancelled flights from Kabul.
Andrew Parsons, International Paralympic Committee president, said: “We will include the Afghanistan flag in the ceremony in a sign of solidarity. It is important to highlight that as it is a message of solidarity and peace that we send to the world. We would like to have them here, unfortunately it is not possible, but they will be here in spirit.”
The first day of the Games will see cycling, goalball, swimming table tennis, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair fencing and wheelchair rugby all take place… which sounds like a great first day of competing to us. Which events are you most looking forward to watching?
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