Highlights from the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Paralympic Games

Here’s what you need to know: Credit… Chang W. Lee / The New York Times Credit… Chang W. Lee / The New York Times Credit… Chan...

Credit…Chang W. Lee / The New York Times
Credit…Chang W. Lee / The New York Times
Credit…Chang W. Lee / The New York Times
Credit…Chang W. Lee / The New York Times
Credit…Chang W. Lee / The New York Times
Athletes from the Japanese Paralympic team at the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony.
Credit…Chang W. Lee / The New York Times

As is customary, Japan, the host country, closed the parade of nations. One of the two flag bearers, table tennis player and second Paralympic athlete Koyo Iwabuchi, is currently ranked second in the world and favorite to win a medal in Tokyo.

Japan have failed to win table tennis medals at the Paralympic Games in the past five games, and Iwabuchi has said he wants to break the streak. He is also known for saying “more than a gold medal” which means he wants people to know that he is not just competing for a medal, but that people understand and appreciate the value of. parasports.

Mami Tani, Japan’s other flag bearer, has competed at three previous Paralympic Games in the long jump. She will compete in Tokyo as a triathlete. She gave birth to a son in 2015 and switched to triathlon the following year.

Athletes from the US Paralympic team at the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony.
Credit…Chang W. Lee / The New York Times

TOKYO – Triathlete and Iraq War veteran Melissa Stockwell and US wheelchair rugby team captain Chuck Aoki carried the flag and led the US team in the Parade of Nations.

Stockwell, 41, who received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star, will compete in the triathlon at his third Paralympic Games. She competed in three swimming events in 2008 and returned in 2016, when triathlon was added to the Paralympic Games, winning a bronze medal. She was chosen to carry the flag at the closing ceremony in 2008.

Aoki, 30, will also compete in his third Paralympic Games, having won bronze with his team in 2012 and silver in 2016, when the United States lost a thrilling final to Australia.

Different colors are projected onto the field where the athletes are seated during the opening ceremony.
Credit…Chang W. Lee / The New York Times

TOKYO – Five countries sent athletes to the Paralympic Games for the first time this year: Bhutan, Grenada, Maldives, Paraguay and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

A total of 21 countries have decided not to participate this year. The reasons included travel restrictions in the event of a pandemic, not having a qualified athlete for the Games and pregnancy.

A total of 162 nations and a delegation of refugees are participating in the Tokyo Paralympic Games. This is more than at the Rio Games in 2016 and a little less than the record of 164 in London in 2012.

A volunteer carrying the flag of Afghanistan in place of absent athletes.
Credit…Chang W. Lee / The New York Times

Afghan Paralympic athletes have not been able to make it to Tokyo safely due to the chaos surrounding the Taliban takeover of the country. But as a sign of respect for the country’s two Paralympians, the Afghanistan flag was carried in the parade of athletes by a Paralympic volunteer wearing a Tokyo 2020 tricolor blue jersey. A representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights refugees also walked with the flag.

The Paralympic Refugee Team leading the Parade of Nations through the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Credit…Chang W. Lee / The New York Times

TOKYO – The parade of athletes is always the centerpiece of the Opening Ceremony. At the Olympics, Greece usually walks first, as it is the home country of the Olympics. As with the Olympics, the number of athletes in the Paralympic Parade is likely to be reduced compared to typical Games, as coronavirus restrictions prohibit athletes from entering the Paralympic Village up to five days before their competitions.

The first team to enter the stadium on Tuesday was the Refugee Paralympic team, which is making its second appearance at the Games.

The two flag bearers have a deep meaning. Alia Issa, who was born in Greece after her family fled Syria, is the first woman in a refugee team at the Paralympic Games. She will compete in the club’s track and field throwing event.

Abbas Karimi, a swimmer and refugee who has lived in the United States since 2016, will be the only Afghan athlete at the Games. Athletes who were due to compete for the country withdrew from the Games because they could not ensure safe flights to Tokyo amid the chaos of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Karimi has lived and trained in Portland, Oregon, and Fort. Lauderdale, Florida. He will swim the 50-meter backstroke and the 50-meter butterfly.

Emperor Naruhito of Japan, left, and Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee, waved at the start of the opening ceremony.
Credit…Eugene Hoshiko / Associated press

TOKYO – His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, Naruhito, will officially declare the Paralympic Games open. The Imperial Family of Japan has long supported the Paralympic Games: The parents of the current Emperor, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko, adopted the Tokyo 1964 Paralympic Games as one of their main causes when ‘they were crown prince and princess. Tokyo is the first city to host the Paralympic Games twice.

The support of the then crown prince and princess sparked a gradual change in attitude towards people with disabilities in Japan, said Kenneth J. Ruoff, historian and expert on Imperial Japan at Portland State University .

“As hard to believe now, there were sayings back then that people with disabilities should essentially be kept out of sight or hidden,” Professor Ruoff said.

At the time, the royal family had a strong social influence, Ruoff added, and the crown prince helped change public opinion by believing that people with disabilities “should play sports for the same purpose as everyone else, which included above all pleasure and not just rehabilitation.

After the 1964 Paralympic Games, the Imperial couple regularly visited hospitals and institutions where people with disabilities lived.

“The Emperor and Empress have steadfastly, over the decades, continued to bring attention to people with disabilities by visiting them with the media,” said Ruoff.

The Olympic cauldron sat closed and turned off in an empty stadium before the opening ceremony.
Credit…Chang W. Lee / The New York Times

TOKYO – The organizers of the Paralympic Games have said that the event is more than a sports competition. They have repeatedly presented it as a way to draw attention to the 15 percent of the world’s population with disabilities.

“This is the only global event that puts people with disabilities center stage and gives a voice to people with disabilities,” Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee, said at a press conference the day before the ceremony. opening. “Throughout the pandemic, they have been left behind and denied a level of service that non-disabled people have had access to. “

Draw attention to the Games, which open just over two weeks after the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony, could be a challenge, especially in Japan, where a persistent wave of coronavirus infections has weighed down the Tokyo hospital system and pissed off the public.

Outside the Olympic Stadium ahead of Tuesday’s ceremony, there were significantly fewer people than before the Olympics opening ceremony, when crowds of people gathered to take selfies along the road around of the stadium. On Tuesday, a line of about 10 people pointed their cell phones at the venue. The low turnout may be due in part to the fact that the Paralympic Ceremony landed on a weekday, while the Olympics Opening Ceremony took place on a Friday evening and the closing festivities on a Sunday.

Hanako Ohkawa, 34, appreciated the lack of crowds. She brought her two daughters aged 4 and 6 to the stadium. They wore hats with Olympic and Paralympic mascots on them.

“We didn’t come on the day of the Olympics opening ceremony because we thought it would be too crowded,” Ohkawa said. She said she was worried about the spread of the coronavirus in Tokyo, “but since the Olympics have been held, there’s not much they can do now. They can’t cancel the Paralympics, otherwise it would be pretty unfair.

Takeru Shibata, 27, who works in recruiting, passed through the stadium near the start time. “I didn’t know the opening ceremony was taking place today,” he said. “I would watch Paralympic games if I saw them on TV, but I don’t particularly intend to watch anything. “

The symbol of the Paralympic Games,
Credit…Chang W. Lee / The New York Times

When: 6:55 am-10am Eastern Time Tuesday

Or: NBCSN, NBCOlympics.com, NBC Sports app

TOKYO – The opening ceremony for the 16th Summer Paralympic Games will take place at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium on Tuesday. The stadium has a capacity of 68,000 seats but will be largely empty due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the exception of Paralympic athletes, their support staff, stadium employees, volunteers and members of the media .

NBCSN will begin a live broadcast of the opening ceremony at 6:55 a.m. EST on Tuesday. The ceremony will be rebroadcast on NBCSN the same evening at 7 a.m., leading to live coverage of the first day of competition.

Throughout the Games, NBCSN is expected to present live coverage of the competition each evening, typically 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. EST. Other reports can be seen on NBC and the Olympic Channel. here is a full schedule Paralympic TV shows on NBC, NBCSN and the Olympic Channel.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Highlights from the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Paralympic Games
Highlights from the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Paralympic Games
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