The 16th edition of the Tokyo Paralympics is being held from August 24 to September 5 in the busy capital of Japan, Tokyo.
By this, Tokyo became the first city to conduct Paralympics twice. Around 4400 competitors from nearly 160 countries are participating in the Paralympics.
Paralympic games are governed by the International Paralympic Committee and are currently headed by Andrew Parsons. Thumbs Up on Monday announced that it had become the official partner of the Tokyo Paralympics.
Indian presence in Tokyo Paralympic
The BBC reports that India is sending its biggest ever contingent of 54 athletes to the Paralympics this time. These athletes participate in 9 different sports disciplines: badminton, weightlifting, swimming, archery, athletics, canoeing, shooting, table tennis, and taekwondo. All these athletes are part of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
This time expectations are high on the Indian Paralympians considering their recent achievements in the international arena. The great Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar described them as ‘Real Life Heroes’ and praised the Paralympians for becoming role models by performing for India.
Amidst the current situation, only 11 members from India took part in the opening ceremony that included six officials and five athletes. Flag-bearer T. Mariyappan, discus thrower Vinod Kumar, javelin thrower Tek Chand and powerlifters Jaideep and Sakina Khatun are the five athletes who participated in the opening ceremony of the Paralympics.
India is expected to exhibit the best-ever performance, and the country is expecting the best medal haul this time.
Paralympics amidst covid crisis
Tokyo Paralympics will be organized by following proper covid protocols that were implemented in the Olympics that had ended earlier this month.
However, the organizers said that the event would be held under difficult health circumstances taking into account the current scenario in the country. The increase in daily covid cases and lack of support from some hospitals in Tokyo to take emergency cases from the games poses a big challenge for the organizers.
Paralympians from countries like New Zealand have chosen to skip the opening ceremony keeping in mind the risk of increasing Covid 19 cases. However, implementing certain restrictions and limiting the movement of athletes seem to work to a great extent.