The Paralympics are coming to Tokyo in 2020. Learn about the Paralympics games, players, schedules, tickets and more. All updated with the latest details for 2021.
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With the Olympics coming to Tokyo in 2020 that also means the city will be hosting the Paralympics shortly after. Athletes from across the world will come to Tokyo for this major event, where for thirteen days they will compete in the hopes of winning gold. The Tokyo 2020 Paralympics will showcase just what these elite athletes with impairments are capable of, hopefully setting some new world records in the process. Yet another world-class sporting event you’ll need to come to Japan to see!
Introduction to The Tokyo Paralympics
The Tokyo Paralympic Games begin with the opening ceremony on August 24, 2021 and finish with the closing ceremony on September 5, 2021. As has become tradition, the Paralympics take place shortly after the Olympics in the same city.
This will be the 16th Summer Paralympic Games and quite a special one, as it will be Tokyo’s second time to host the Games. The city first hosted the games back in 1964 and this will make it the first city to ever host the Games twice.
Originally, the Games were designed to help with rehabilitation when they were created in 1948 by Sir Ludwig Guttmann for his patients. However, the modern Games have taken on a life of their own and are now an elite competition for athletes with impairments. That focus is captured by the name “Paralympics” as it is said to mean the “Parallel Olympics”.
In the spirit of the Paralympics being parallel to the Olympics, the Games are both connected and stand on their own merit. To that end, while they share a host city and venues, they have their own emblem, mascot and torch relay. The relay begins in Stoke Mandeville where Sir Ludwig Guttmann started it all, before making its way to Japan and finally Tokyo.
Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Sports
For the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, there will be 22 different sports for athletes to compete in. Many are the same events as those held for able-bodied athletes in the Olympics, while others are close variants, like wheelchair tennis and wheelchair basketball.
These small differences mean that athletes with mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness or cerebral palsy can compete. Events are then divided into classifications to factor in the mobility and degree of impairment experienced by the athlete.
Much like the Olympics, each sport has its own timeframe and structure. Some sports begin with qualifiers leading into medal events, while others jump right to the final medal contests.
See here for a full schedule of the Tokyo Paralympics and Olympics.
Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Tickets and Venues
A big part of the Olympics and Paralympics taking place in the same city is that the venues are able to be used for both. Just as the Olympics is set up with a Heritage Zone and a Tokyo Bay Zone, so too is the Paralympics. With fewer events in the Paralympics, there’s less need for the venues beyond these two zones making getting between events much easier.
If you’re hoping to experience the Tokyo Paralympics in person and cheer on your country’s athletes, then unfortunately you're out of luck this round. The major of Tokyo announced that the Paralympic games will be held without public, similar to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics due to the ongoing state of emergency in Tokyo. A limited amount of press and supporting staff will be allowed to witness the games in person. We recommend watching the games live on television or through one of the many live streams.
Complete Schedule of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics
Below you’ll find the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games schedule, updated with the 2021 dates. Naturally, the Tokyo Paralympics schedule is only accurate as of the time of writing and may be subject to change. Check the schedule on the official Olympics website here.
The full schedule for the Tokyo Paralympics can be downloaded here as PDF.