By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
The delayed 2020 Paralympic Games opened in Tokyo on 24 August 2021 and end on 5 September 2021.
Described as being “different” having been delayed by a year by the Covid-19 Pandemic and being held in empty venues, apart from a few, where around 1000,000 Japanese school children will be allowed to attend, and with 5,000 cases of Covid being registered each day in Tokyo, where a state of emergency is still in place, the organisers hope that they will be as successful and safe as the Olympics held earlier.
The President of the International Paralympics Committee, Andrew Parsons, is confident that the Games will be safe, and stated:
“I understand the frustration and the anger among the Japanese about the Pandemic, but there is no correlation between it and the presence of the Olympics here and I’m sure it is going to be the same with the Paralympics.”
As with the Tokyo Olympics before them, because of the Pandemic, strict protocols will be in place, involving daily testing of athletes, mask wearing and social distancing. Also, equipment, including wheelchairs will be regularly sanitised.
The Tokyo Paralympics will feature around 4,400 elite athletes, with different kinds and levels of disability, from 192 National Paralympic Committees around the world, who will compete in 539 medal events in 22 sports.
We wish all of them well!