By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
Despite all the controversies surrounding the holding of the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Paralympics came to a successful and colourful circus-like end at the National Stadium on 5 September 2021. The closing ceremony was presided over by Crown Prince Akishino, the brother of the Japanese Emperor Naruhito.
Certainly, they were different and historic, held in unprecedented circumstances, and are expected to leave a legacy of a greater awareness and acceptance in Japan of people with disabilities and probably also elsewhere in the world.
The Paralympics involved a record number of athletes, 4,405, and included two athletes from Afghanistan, who arrived late after fleeing Kabul. And a record number of countries won medals, including Great Britain with 124 medals, coming second in the medals table to the People’s Republic of China with 207 medals.
The costs of staging the Olympic and the Paralympic Games also set new records, costing reputedly US$15.4 billion, twice the original budget.
The Games generated between US$3 – 4 billion in television income for the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The IOC has lined up the next three Summer Games to be held in Paris (2024); Los Angeles (2028); and Brisbane (2032).
The Winter Games will take place in Beijing in five months’ time and it has been announced that Sapporo will bid for the 2030 Winter Games, having hosted them in 1972.
For a view on the value of the Games, see the critical remarks of Prof Dr Steve Cornelius in the Editorial of the September issue of the Sports Law and Taxation Journal!