Despite all odds, the 2020 Olympics went full steam ahead in Tokyo. The same is set to happen for the 2020 Paralympics which is set to be the next major sporting event on our calendars this year.
Here’s your guide to the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
When are the Tokyo Paralympics taking place?
If you need a refresher, the Paralympics is an international sporting event for athletes with disabilities. Over 4,400 athletes from 160 nations are expected to compete.
The 16th Paralympic games are scheduled to take place in Tokyo, Japan from August 24 to September 5, 2021.
This places them two weeks after the 2020 Olympics wrapped up.
The opening ceremony will take place on Tuesday, August 24 at 9 pm AEST and the closing ceremony will be on Sunday, September 5 at 9 pm AEST.
What sports are there this year?
There are 22 sports at this year’s Paralympics, including two new ones – badminton and taekwondo.
Here’s a list of sports that will be played at the games this year and when you can watch them:
- Archery (27 August – 4 September)
- Athletics (27 August – 5 September)
- Badminton (1 September – 5 September)
- Boccia (28 August – 4 September)
- Canoe Sprint (2 September – 4 September)
- Cycling Road (31 August – 3 September)
- Cycling Track (25 August – 28 August)
- Equestrian (26 August – 30 August)
- Football 5-a-side (29 August – 4 September)
- Goalball (25 August – 3 September)
- Judo (27 August – 29 August)
- Powerlifting (26 August – 30 August)
- Rowing (27 August – 29 August)
- Shooting (30 August – 5 September)
- Sitting Volleyball (27 August – 5 September)
- Swimming (25 August – 3 September)
- Table Tennis (25 August – 3 September)
- Taekwondo (2 September – 4 September)
- Triathlon (28 August – 29 August)
- Wheelchair Basketball (25 August – 5 September)
- Wheelchair Fencing (25 August – 29 August)
- Wheelchair Rugby (25 August – 29 August)
- Wheelchair Tennis (27 August – 4 September)
You can find a full schedule of the events at the 2020 Paralympics with dates and event times here.
Which Aussie athletes are competing?
Australia’s Paralympic Team has officially arrived into the Paralympic Village in the Harumi district of Tokyo, prepped for the start of the Paralympics action. 179 Para-athletes are representing Australia this year. You can see everyone who is competing here.
— AUS Paralympic Team (@AUSParalympics) July 23, 2021
Traditionally, Australia has fared well at both athletics and swimming events at the Paralympics with 152 and 128 gold medals earned respectively over the course of Paralympic history. So keep an eye out for these events – and hopefully more gold!
Wheelchair basketballer, Tristan Knowles, who will take part in his fifth Paralympic Games this year, gave a statement on his feelings on competing this year.
“If anything the joy and privilege of being able to pull on a green and gold singlet gets greater and greater,” he shared.
“To be here for a fifth time and to see the condition of all the guys, I feel really upbeat and we’ve got really high expectations of ourselves, particularly after the way we finished in Rio. We’re excited to get started.”
Para-swimmer Tiffany Thomas Kane also shared a statement about her excitement about arriving into Tokyo.
“It feels good to be here in the Village,” Thomas Kane said.
“It’s been a long five years, a really long wait. It’s exciting seeing all our Team here and also seeing the athletes from other countries.
“It brings back a lot of memories from Rio – the Village life, the athletes from all over the world, just working out where everything is, how to get around here. It’s just a really good time for all of us.”
How to watch the 2020 Paralympics in Australia
Just like the 2020 Olympics, this year’s Paralympics will be broadcast on Channel 7 in Australia.
You can also watch the Paralympics live or on-demand over on the 7plus app for free.
The time zone difference between JST and AEST is only an hour so you shouldn’t have to wake up at any ridiculous times of the night to see your favourite events.
The AUS Paralympic Team has shared a new way sporting fans can support competing athletes this year – being that attending in person is not a possibility – you can now opt in to buy a “virtual stadium seat”.
Doing so will not only act as a way to cheer on Paralympians, but according to the Australian Paralympic website, “Every seat purchased is invested in the next generation of Para-athletes through Paralympics Australia’s community and sports programs, changing community perception, and breaking down barriers”. Donations are tax-deductible.
Buy now: https://t.co/X60pmvZki0
— AUS Paralympic Team (@AUSParalympics) August 9, 2021
We’ll keep you posted on any updates or changes to the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic games as we get closer to the event.
This article has been updated since its original publish date.