The 2020 Tokyo Paralympics

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics were a moment of respite for many Australians living in the midst of a pandemic and stay at home orders. If you have been missing the Games since they wrapped up just a little over a fortnight ago, you needn’t worry too much. The 2020 Tokyo Paralympics begins on Tuesday 24 August. 

The Paralympics will bring together athletes with physical mental and sensorial disabilities from around the world to compete in a wide array of sporting events. 

On 29 July 1948, during the Opening Ceremony of the London 1948 Olympic Games, the first competition for wheelchair athletes took place marking the start of the modern Paralympics.  They involved 16 injured servicemen and women who took part in archery. 

The first full scale Paralympics took place in 1950 in Rome. Since then the Games have grown in size and scale. More than just a sporting event, the Paralympics have also had a transformational impact on the way many people see disability. The Paralympics have continued to challenge deep rooted beliefs and misconceptions about disability as well as improving approaches to social inclusion for host and participating countries alike. 

The Paralympics is a great example of an event which can challenge stigma and change attitudes. Research showed that among those in the United Kingdom who watched the 2012 London Paralympics, a third changed the way they viewed disability issues. 

In past years the Paralympics has not received much support or recognition, which is now changing. Paralympian athletes now have access to more support than ever before and the Games will now rightfully take centre stage on free to air television, live on channel 7 as well as on a dedicated app streaming all live events and replays. (also free) 

Australia will send a team of 179 athletes to the Tokyo Games and for the first time, we will be able to share in every moment. 

For more information and ways in which you can cheer on our team, visit  https://www.paralympic.org.au/tokyo2020/how-to-watch/