The Emperor of Japan officially declared the Paralympic Games open on Tuesday. They will be held until September 5.
The Emperor of Japan Naruhito officially declared the Tokyo Paralympic Games open on Tuesday during the opening ceremony at the National Stadium, 16 days after the close of the Olympics and one year after their initial date. “I declare open the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games“, Stated behind his white mask the Emperor Naruhito in the official stand of the stadium, deprived of spectators because of the generalized camera decreed in the face of the fifth wave of Covid-19 hitting Japan. Only a few officials and the media attended the show and then the parade of delegations, kicking off 13 days of a rare exhibition for parasports since an audience of four billion cumulative viewers is expected by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC ).
Until September 5, 539 gold medals will be contested between 4,400 para-athletes, including a few stars such as the German long jumper Markus Rehm, nicknamed “Blade jumperBecause of its carbon prosthesis blade. “I can’t believe we’re finally there, IPC President Andrew Parsons said on stage Tuesday. Many doubted that this day would come, many thought it was impossible, but thanks to the efforts of many, the sporting event with the greatest force for change on the planet is about to begin.“
The hope also to see the return of sport in the health news especially in Japan, which has a record team of 254 para-athletes. The most extensive ahead of that of China, which has dominated the medal table in each edition since 2004. Because the Japanese archipelago has recorded a record of 25,000 daily cases in recent days and Tokyo is approaching its eighth week of state of emergency. Certain elements in the enclosure of the stadium reminded us: the absence of New Zealand athletes or the reduction of the Brazilian presence to four people, among 234 para-athletes present in Tokyo. At the end of the evening, the Paralympic flag entered the national stadium carried by essential workers during the pandemic.
The ceremony, with the announced theme “We have wings», Had recreated an airport in the National Stadium for the needs of its history: a plane with only one wing, interpreted by a 13-year-old girl in a wheelchair, eventually finding the air. The refugee committee opened the usual parade, led by Afghan refugee swimmer Abbas Karimi and Syrian pitcher Alia Issa, the first woman to join the delegation. As for the Afghan flag, it paraded well despite the absence of its two representative athletes who could not reach Tokyo due to the Taliban takeover. His passage was even applauded by some journalists and officials.