Olympic games take place each four years. Due to coronavirus, these Olympic games edition was rescheduled; however, you won’t miss all the excitement that makes Olympic games one of the greatest sportive events ever seen.
Concurrently, Paralympic games are upcoming. As Olympic games, Paralympics will take place in Tokio due to the tradition to organize Paralympics in the same place than Olympic games, being the major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympic Committee.
According to the Committee, those games are scheduled to be held in Tokyo, Japan between 24 August and 5 September 2021. So, after enjoying the best of Olympic games, you can enjoy Paralympics as well!
Curiosities about Paralympics and Olympic games
As Olympic games, Paralympics history is full of interesting facts and inspirational stories that Olympic games fans belove. Keep reading and find out about these amazing curiosities.
1. Slovakia's Veronika Vadovicova is a legend in shooting, where she has won numerous titles over a career spanning more than two decades, in which she has won three Paralympic golds. But Ukraine's Iryna Shchetnik looks set to take over from Vadovicova as the best rifle in the SH1 category.
2. Birgit Skarstein competed at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games as a cross-country skier and was even Norway's flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony. After that, the two-mode Paralympian turned her focus back to rowing, where she is world champion in women's individual sculls (PR1W1x).
Skarstein has not lost a regatta since finishing fourth at Rio 2016 and hopes to capture her first gold in Tokyo. As you can see, Tokyo Olympic games and Paralympics are expected to be so great.
3. When Markus Rehm is competing, you know he's about to make history. The German set a new world record in the men's T64 long jump with an incredible 8.62 meters at this year's European Championships, surpassing the marks achieved by Olympic games at the last six Games. With Tokyo 2020 just around the corner, Rehm hopes to jump even further.
4. For the first time, para rowing will use the same distance as its Olympic games peers, the 2,000 meters. Adopted in 2017, this rule change doubles the distance used in the 2016, 2012 and 2008 Paralympic regattas.
5. Brazil's road to the top of the men's golfer rankings has been a swift one. After failing to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, they won the 2014 and 2018 editions and won their first Paralympic medal (a bronze) at Rio 2016. Winning gold in Tokyo 2020 would be the 'cherry on top' for the South American country's most successful generation of golf players.
6. The People's Republic of China's women's sitting volleyball team went on a winning streak from when the sport made its debut in Athens 2004 to London 2012. But at Rio 2016 the United States won in the final to end their dominance. This rivalry, one of the fiercest in Paralympic sport, is expected to experience a new chapter in Tokyo Olympic games.
7. Eduardo Avila Sanchez, better known as 'Judoman', two-time Paralympic champion, hopes to put a perfect end to his career in the birthplace of judo. The Mexican suffered a serious back injury after Olympic games Rio 2016, but rebounded in epic fashion at the 2019 qualifier for Tokyo 2020, taking gold and a place in his fourth (and final) Games.
8. After winning her first Winter Paralympic medals in cross-country skiing at PyeongChang 2018, U.S. star Oksana Masters has turned her attention to para-cycling. She came close to a podium finish at Rio 2016, taking fourth in the H5 road race and fifth in the H4-5-time trial, but seems determined to take home a medal from Tokyo Olympic games.
9. At just 15 years old, Sophie Pascoe was the youngest swimmer on the New Zealand team at Beijing 2008, where she won three golds and a silver.
Since then, Pascoe has not stopped adding to her achievements, and is already her country's most successful Paralympic athlete with 15 medals, including nine gold medals. In her fourth Games, she will try to continue making history in Paralympics and Olympic games.
10. Gustavo Fernández has become the rival to beat in wheelchair tennis in recent years. The Argentinean became the first Latin American to reach number one in the world and has won five Grand Slam singles titles, among many other trophies.
Now he hopes to add Paralympic gold to his trophy haul, after losing in the quarterfinals five years ago in Rio.
11. In 2019, LI Yujie became the first para taekwondist from the People's Republic of China to become world champion, defeating Serbia's Marija Micev in the women's up to 48kg K44 final. Li is now also aiming for Paralympic gold in Tokyo, although she will have to give her best to defeat the world number one, Denmark's Lisa Gjessing.
12. SATO Tomoki had a bittersweet experience at Rio 2016. He came close to winning the 400m and 1,500m in the men's T52 category, but ended up taking silver in both events. But the Japanese has improved since then, and at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships he conquered gold in both events. Now the home crowd is hoping to celebrate with him in Tokyo.
13. At Tokyo 2020 Zahra Nemati, double Paralympic champion in archery, wants to seek her third straight title in the women's recurve archery event. But in addition to showing what she is capable of on the field of play, the Iranian wants to use the Paralympic platform to continue to advocate for the rights of women and the disabled on a global level. As Olympic games, archery is one of the most watched sports on TV.
14. Luca Mazzone, a former swimmer, won his first Paralympic golds as a cyclist by winning the men's H2 class individual time trial and H2-5 mixed team relay events at Rio 2016. After securing a hat-trick of titles at the 2021 World Road Cycling Championships, the Italian is hoping to shine again at these Games.
15. The Refugee Paralympic Team for Tokyo 2020 will be composed of six athletes. Ibrahim Al Hussein (Syrian-born), Alia Issa (Syria), Parfait Hakizimana (Burundi), Abbas Karimi (Afghanistan), Shahrad Nasajpour (Islamic Republic of Iran), and Anas Al Khalifa (Syria) will compete in athletics, canoeing, swimming and taekwondo. They will be led by Chef de Mission Ileana Rodriguez, a Cuban refugee who represented the United States at London 2012.
16. Tamara Leonelli's dream of qualifying for a Paralympic Games has come true. The Chilean will make her debut in the women's para wheelchair tennis class 5 at Tokyo 2020 thanks to her gold at the 2019 Parapan American Games. Despite not being one of the favorites, Leonelli hopes to surprise the world and reach the podium.
17. Patrick Anderson, one of the best players in wheelchair basketball history, will return to represent Canada at his fifth Paralympic Games, having left the national team before Rio 2016. With his exceptional talent Anderson, now 41, led his team to Paralympic gold at Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and London 2012, as well as a silver at Beijing 2008. Without Anderson on the team, Canada finished 11th at the last Games. But with his return, the team hopes the glory days are not behind them.
18. The Rwandan sitting volleyball team qualified for their second Paralympic Games by winning the African Championships in Kigali. Their goal for Tokyo 2020 will be to surpass the performance of five years ago at Rio 2016, where they failed to make it out of the group stage and qualify for the knockout rounds.
19. Morocco sent its 5-a-side soccer team for the blind to the Paralympics for the first time at Rio 2016. They finished last in Group A but gained valuable international experience and even managed to score a goal against eventual champions Brazil in a 3-1 defeat. Looking ahead to Tokyo 2020, the reigning African champions are confident of taking another step forward, getting into the semifinals and fighting for a medal.
20. Peter Pal Kiss is one of the most promising stars of Paralympic sport. At just 16 years old, the Hungarian para canoeist surprised world champion Esteban Farias of Italy to win the men's KL1 category title at the 2019 World Championships. Despite having little international experience, Kiss will arrive in Tokyo as one of the favorites.
21. Although ranked fifth in the world, in recent years the Canadian wheelchair rugby team has not been the powerhouse it used to be. At Rio 2016, Canada missed out on the Paralympic podium for the first time in 16 years, and at the 2018 World Cup it could only finish sixth. But since hope is the last thing to be lost, Canada hopes to relive its glory days on Japanese soil.
22. Thanks to Piers Gilliver, Great Britain won its first wheelchair fencing medal since Barcelona 1992 at Rio 2016. Gilliver, then 22, took silver in the men's individual epee A category. He will now try to improve one more place in Tokyo and take the coveted gold.
23. The People's Republic of China will try to finish first in the medal standings for the fifth consecutive time at the Paralympic Games. The last time they failed to do so was in Sydney 2000, where hosts Australia finished first. On that occasion, the People's Republic of China finished the sixth.