China Disabled Persons 'Federation
Home|Media Center|Updates

Paralympics open with promise of safe Games

Source: China Daily Updated: 2021-08-25
 
General view before the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, in Tokyo, Japan, on Aug 24, 2021. [Photo/IC]

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games kicked off on Tuesday night at Japan's Olympic Stadium as a video showed a gentle breeze blowing through the fields, courts and venues and finally sweeping into the stadium, becoming a huge gust of wind in the process.

Under the theme "We Have Wings", a crew of 100 members of different ages, genders and races came to center stage to begin the countdown. When the countdown hit zero, fireworks went off, lighting up the night sky of Tokyo, the first city to host the Paralympics twice.

According to the organizing committee, the wind was meant to "lift up" the athletes and symbolize their resilience and ability to "overcome adversity with tenacity and poise".

More than 4,400 competitors will take part in 22 sports from Wednesday to Sept 5 in Japan.

After a one-year postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world's largest competition for athletes with disabilities came at a time when the Japanese public remains divided on holding the event.

In his meeting on Tuesday with International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons, Japanese Emperor Naruhito said he hopes all athletes can perform to the best of their abilities despite the difficulties stemming from the pandemic.

A view of the Olympic Stadium ahead of the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, in Tokyo, Japan, on Aug 24, 2021. [Photo/IC]

"I would like to join you in wishing all athletes the very best," the emperor said.

Parsons said, "We will do everything we can to deliver a safe Games for everyone."

In a message to media at the opening ceremony, Parsons said the pandemic has affected every person on the planet, disproportionately affecting the world's 1.2 billion people with disabilities.

"In bringing together thousands of athletes from all over the world for a safe and secure Games, we are celebrating humanity, showcasing the strength and diversity of the human spirit, and highlighting that out of adversity must always come hope," the former Brazilian journalist said.

Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Tokyo organizing committee, said, "I truly believe that the image of the para-athletes overcoming difficulties and going beyond their own limits will inspire great hope in people, especially all of us living in the present era."

Team China sent 251 Paralympians-132 women and 119 men-with the aim of continuing its gold medal dominance and topping the medals table, as it has done at every Paralympics since Athens 2004. China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is sending 24 athletes, and Chinese Taipei is sending 38.

On her journey to the Games, swimmer Jiang Yuyuan, who at 16 is Team China's youngest Paralympian, said: "I wouldn't describe the journey here as grueling. It's something I enjoyed very much. Swimming makes me feel very free. As someone with a disability, I might need the help of a wheelchair or a walking aid on the road. But in the water, I can decide where I go myself."

Performers are seen during the opening ceremony, on Aug 24, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. [Photo/IC]


People take pictures of fireworks during the opening ceremony from outside the stadium of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, on Aug 24, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. [Photo/Agencies]


Fireworks are seen during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, on Aug 24, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. [Photo/Agencies]


Performers are seen during the opening ceremony, on Aug 24, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. [Photo/Agencies]


The Japanese national flag is raised during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, on Aug 24, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]


Wang Hao of China and Zhou Jiamin of China lead their contingent during the athletes parade at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, on Aug 24, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]


China athletes are seen during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, on Aug 24, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]



  • 0
China's achievements in disability affairs during 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20)- 4
China's achievements in disability affairs during 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20)- 3
Copyrights © 2002-2016 China Disabled Persons' Federation. All Rights Reserved