After a year of waiting, paralympians (or athletes with disabilities) from around the world gathered in Tokyo to compete for one of the most coveted medals in paralympic sports—the gold, silver, and bronze medals of the Paralympic Games. While some teams had to drop out of the event due to COVID-19 concerns, the start of the Tokyo Paralympic Games proved once again to be an opportunity for the world to come together through sport.
Over 4,400 athletes will be competing in twenty-two sports at the Paralympic Games—the greatest number of competitors in the history of the event.
Excited for ten days of paralympic competition? We are! To kick things off, we’re sharing some interesting facts about this year’s Paralympic Games.
Five Fun Facts About The Tokyo Paralympic Games
- At 1,853 female competitors, these games will also see the greatest number of female paralympians compete in the twenty-two sports.
- The newest sports to be added to this year’s Paralympic Games are badminton and taekwondo.
- Someity, the mascot of the Paralympic Games, is both mentally and physically tough, but it also has some pretty amazing superpowers, such as telepathy and telekinesis (or moving objects with one’s mind). In Japanese, the name “Someity” is derived from the Japanese word someiyoshino, a kind of cherry blossom, but the word itself also sounds like “so mighty” in English.
- Tokyo is the first city to host the Paralympics twice. The first time Tokyo hosted the games was in November, 1964.
- Athletes compete at the Paralympic Games in both boccia and goalball, two sports that aren’t part of the Olympic Games.
Missed the Tokyo Olympics and want to read all about it? You can! Check out Xyza’s stories about the Tokyo Summer Olympics here.
Images Courtesy of Tokyo 2020