Tokyo 2020 will be the biggest Paralympic Games ever with a record number of athletes set to take part. In addition, more female athletes than ever before will line-up at the postponed Games which open today, 24 August. Host nation Japan will have the most athletes at the Games with 254, nearly double their delegation at Rio 2016.
In total 4,403 athletes (2,550 male/1,853 female) will compete across 22 sports and 23 disciplines*. With 4,328 athletes, Rio 2016 held the previous record for the most athletes, this means Tokyo now has the record for most athletes at a Games.
Andrew Parsons, IPC President, “To break the record for the highest number of athletes at Tokyo 2020 is testament to the tremendous work of all NPCs and International Federations who have gone above and beyond the call of duty during the most testing of times.
“Over the coming days the outstanding performances of Paralympians will smash stereotypes and demonstrate why persons with disabilities need to be active, visible, and contributing members of a global society now, more than ever.”
Record female participation
In total 1,853 female athletes will compete at Tokyo 2020 beating the previous record of 1,671 women that competed at Rio 2016 – this is a 10.9 per cent increase.
“It is absolutely fantastic news that more women than ever before will compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and a lot of credit needs to go to NPCs and International Federations for ensuring this continued growth in numbers,” said Parsons.
“Although we are still someway short of gender parity, we are heading in the right direction with the number of women competing at the Paralympics almost doubling since the Sydney 2000 Paralympics.”
Hosts Japan lead the biggest delegations
Host nation NPC Japan have the biggest delegation at the Games with 254 athletes across 23 disciplines. This is their biggest ever delegation at a Paralympic Games, and nearly double what Japan had at Rio 2016 when they had 132 athletes. They are followed by NPC China (248 athletes/21 disciplines). The next three biggest are the RPC (243 athletes/20 disciplines), NPC USA (235 athletes/20 disciplines), and NPC Brazil (234 athletes/21 disciplines).
* Cycling has two disciplines, track and road.
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will take place between 24 August and 5 September and will feature 539 medal events across 22 sports.