Paralympic Games begin in exactly two years’ time25 Aug 2018
1. Tokyo 2020 takes place between 25 August and 6 September and will feature 4,400 athletes competing in 22 sports across 540 medal events.
2. Badminton and taekwondo will be the two sports making their Paralympic debut in Tokyo.
3. The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Mascot is called Someity, which comes from the word someiyoshino, a popular cherry blossom variety, and additionally echoes the English phrase “so mighty”.
4. Metals collected from discarded or obsolete electronic devices will be used in the production of the medals that will be awarded to the athletes.
5. Tokyo 2020 will be the second in a series of three consecutive Games taking place in Asia after the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games and before the Beijing 2022 Winter Games.
6. Japan hosted the Winter Paralympic Games once in Nagano in 1998, with a total of 562 athletes from 31 countries competing in five sports across 34 medal events.
7. They will be the first Paralympic Games to feature face recognition technology to verify the identity of athletes, officials, other staff members and media representatives at Tokyo 2020.
8. USA are the most decorated country in the history of the Paralympics with 2,179 medals won, including 771 golds, 700 silvers and 708 bronze.
9. US swimmer Trischa Zorn is the most decorated Paralympian ever with 32 golds, nine silvers and five bronze claimed between 1980 and 2004.
10. The Olympic/Paralympic Village will have 21 flat-type buildings and provide 8,000 beds for the Paralympics. It will be finished by November 2019.
11. Japanese broadcaster and Paralympic rights holder NHK made a TV drama based on the story of Dr. Yutaka Nakamura, the man who fought against social norms to take the second edition of the Paralympic Games to Tokyo in 1964.
12. NHK also brought together Para sports and the tradition of anime with an animated series featuring sports including blind football and athletics.
13. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said “the success of the Paralympics is really the key to the success of the overall Games here.”
14. The Tokyo Sky Tree, the world’s tallest tower, was lit up with the three colours of the “Agitos” forming the Paralympic symbol to mark 1,000 days to go until the Paralympics.
15. Japan are hopeful of landing wheelchair tennis golds at their home Games through Shingo Kunieda and Yu Kamiji. Other top athletes set to compete on home soil in 2020 are swimmer Keiichi Kimura and middle-distance runner Tomoki Sato.
16. The I’mPOSSIBLE education programme kicked off in Tokyo in 2017 with dozens of young people between the ages of 6-12 years engaging with the Paralympic Movement for the first time.
17. The Paralympics are not the only worldwide event Japan will host in the next two years; the ninth Rugby World Cup will take place there in 2019.
18. Asia will stage top events this year as preparation for Tokyo 2020. The powerlifting Asia-Oceania Championships will take place in Kitakyushu, Japan, while around 3000 athletes from 43 countries will compete in October’s Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
19. The Operation BATON sustainability programme aims to build the Olympic and Paralympic Village Plaza using timber locally produced in the participating municipalities.
20. Tokyo’s legacy will continue into the next summer Paralympics, after Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 signed a co-operation agreement, combining their skills and expertise to optimise the delivery of the Games.