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Does The Paralympics Have An Opening Ceremony?

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Does The Paralympics Have An Opening Ceremony?

Now that the Olympics have drawn to a close, sport enthusiasts from around the world are preparing to watch the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics in the Japanese capital.

The Olympics in Tokyo was sent out with a (literal) bang with a spectacular artistic display at the closing ceremony, and spectators want to know if the same will happen for the Paralympics.

When did the Paralympics start?

The Paralympics dates back to the Second World War, when Sir Ludwig Guttmann introduced the first Paralympic Games in Stoke Mandeville, UK for veterans with spinal-cord injuries.

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Over the years, more Paralympic sports organisations were established and in 1964, the first official Paralympic Games took place in Rome.

Wheelchair basketball being played at the first official Paralympic Games in Rome. (Credit: paris2024.org)
Wheelchair basketball being played at the first official Paralympic Games in Rome. (Credit: paris2024.org)

The Paralympics is now the biggest Para sporting event in the world and since the Seoul Summer Games of 1988, the Paralympics has always taken place in the same year and location as the Summer and Winter Olympics.

Is there an opening ceremony for the Paralympics?

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Yes. Just like the Olympics, the Paralympics always has an opening and a closing ceremony.

The opening ceremony this year takes place at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on Tuesday 24th August 2021 at 8pm-11pm local time (12pm-3pm BST).

You can expect to see many of the Paralympians entering the stadium, carrying the flag for their country, as well as a welcome speech from the International Paralympic Comittee president and the legendary artistic display.

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How long is the Paralympics on for?

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympics start on Tuesday 24th August and finish on Sunday 5th September 2021.

Over those few weeks, thousands of Paralympic athletes worldwide will compete in 539 events across 22 sports.

"From 24 August, Paralympian legends Daniel Dias of Brazil, USA's Jessica Long and Mckenzie Coan look to add more swimming medals to add to their collection, whilst Germany's Markus Rehm will attempt to defend his long jump titles as well as Iranian archer Zahra Nemati - a two-time Paralympic champion - returning to take centrestage in Tokyo," said the IPL in a blog post.

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"Other Para stars on the hunt for their first gold medal include Team Great Britain's Jordanne Whiley (wheelchair tennis) and Japan's Sato Tomoki (Para athletics - marathon) - who won two silver medals back in Rio."

Figures formed from plants represent the mascots Miraitowa (L) for the Olympics and Someity (R) for the Paralympics. (Credit: PA)
Figures formed from plants represent the mascots Miraitowa (L) for the Olympics and Someity (R) for the Paralympics. (Credit: PA)

There are also a number of fresh faces making their debut at this year's Paralympics, such as Team GB's Hetty Bartlett and James Freeman, who will be competing in the athletics events.

Will the Paralympics be on TV in the UK?

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The Paralympics, including the opening and closing ceremonies, will be available for free to UK viewers from the BBC.

There will be live coverage of the events throughout the day by BBC One and can also catch the action live on BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sports websites. BBC Two will also be showing the highlights every night between 9pm-10pm.

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Featured Image Credit: PA

Laura Sanders
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