“In six years’ time, Tokyo will become the first city ever to stage the Paralympics for a second time and this 50th anniversary allows us to celebrate how far the Paralympic Games have come since 1964."
Starting on Saturday (8 November), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee will launch five days of activity to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Paralympic Games which were held in the Japanese capital.
It was on 8 November 1964, that 378 athletes from 21 countries took part in the Opening Ceremony of the second Paralympic Games. Watched by nearly 5,000 spectators, the Ceremony took place at Oda Field, located within the Olympic village, and was attended by His Imperial Highness Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko.
To mark 50 years since the Games, the IPC and Tokyo 2020 will publish a series of articles, videos, images and infographics on the 1964 Games via paralympic.org and tokyo2020.jp which will underline the evolution of the Paralympic Movement and para-sport in general over the last half a century.
Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, said: “Whilst looking ahead to the future and the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, it is also important we remember and recognise the past.
“In six years’ time, Tokyo will become the first city ever to stage the Paralympics for a second time and this 50th anniversary allows us to celebrate how far the Paralympic Games have come since 1964.
“The Games will return to Tokyo in 2020 as the world’s third biggest sporting event, but the highly successful 1964 Paralympics faced many challenges, all of which will be highlighted over the coming days.”
Yoshiro Mori, Tokyo 2020 President, said in a video message: “By becoming the first ever city to have hosted both Games twice, I hope that the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics will become known for further raising the profile of and enhancing Paralympic sports and sports for people with impairments around the world.”
The Tokyo 1964 Paralympic Games featured 144 medal events in nine sports. USA topped the medals table winning 50 gold, 41 silver and 32 bronze medals.
In six years’ time at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, around 4,300 athletes from 170 countries are expected to take part in up to 23 sports which will be finalised in late January 2015.