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2020 Summer Paralympics facts for kids

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XVI Paralympic Games
2020 Summer Paralympics logo new.svg
Host city Tokyo, Japan
Motto United by Emotion (Japanese: 感動で、私たちはひとつになる, Hepburn: Kandō de, watashi-tachi wa hitotsu ni naru) (only the English version will be used during the Games)
Athletes 4400 (expected)
Events 540 in 22 sports
Opening 24 August 2021
Closing 5 September 2021
Opened by
Emperor of Japan (expected)
Stadium Japan National Stadium
← Rio 2016 Paris 2024
PyeongChang 2018 Beijing 2022

The 2020 Summer Paralympics (Japanese: 東京2020パラリンピック競技大会, Hepburn: Tōkyō Nisennijū Pararinpikku Kyōgi Taikai) are an upcoming major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympic Committee. Scheduled as the 16th Summer Paralympic Games, they are scheduled to be held in Tokyo, Japan between 24 August and 5 September 2021. They were formerly scheduled to take place between 25 August and 6 September 2020. On 24 March 2020, the IOC and the Tokyo Organizing Committee officially announced that the 2020 Summer Olympics and 2020 Summer Paralympics will be postponed to 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the first time that the Paralympics has been postponed. They will still be publicly marketed as the 2020 Summer Paralympics, even with the change in scheduling to one year later.

This will mark the second time Tokyo has hosted the Paralympics, as they were first hosted there in 1964 alongside the 1964 Summer Olympics.

These Games will see the introduction of badminton and taekwondo to the Paralympic programme, replacing sailing and 7-a-side football.



Ahead of the 2016 Summer Paralympics closing ceremony, Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike advocated for the city to improve its accessibility as a legacy project for the Games. She cited narrow roadways with no sidewalks, and buildings constructed with narrow doorways and low ceilings, as challenges that needed to be overcome. In particular, she called for a transition to underground power lines to facilitate the widening of roads.


In September 2018 applications to be volunteers as the Olympic and Paralympic Games were released. By January 2019 186,101 application had been received. Interviews to whittle the numbers down began in February 2019 and training taking place in October 2019. The volunteers at the venues will be known as "Field Cast" and the volunteers in the city will be known as "City Cast." These names were chosen from a shortlist of four out of an original 149 pairs of names. The other shortlisted names were "Shining Blue and Shining Blue Tokyo", "Games Anchor and City Anchor" and "Games Force and City Force." The names were chosen by the people who had applied to be volunteers at the games.


In January 2016 the task force that was created to look at the legacy of the games recommended that Tokyo follows Rio's lead and make the medals from recycled materials. while a petition created in July 2016 calling for the medals to be made from recycled material had 10,000 signatures by October 2016. The medals for the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics will be constructed using recycled metals; the organizing committee began an electronics recycling program to obtain the materials, with boxes for people to donate old mobile phones appearing from April 2017. Organisers needed to collect eight tonnes of metal – 40 kilograms of gold, 4,290 kg of silver and 2,944 kg of bronze in order to make the medals for the Olympic and Paralympic games. In May 2018 the organising committee noted that they had a shortage of silver needed for the medals. In November 2018 organisers announced that they had reached their 2,700 kilograms target of bronze and expected that the required amount of gold and silver would be reached by March 2019 for the medals. In December 2017 the organising committee launched a competition with the winner having their design on the medals.

The medals have a folding Japanese fan motif on the reverse; the pivot point of the fan "represents Para athletes bringing people together regardless of their nationality or ethnicity". Textured motifs in between leaves of the fan visually and tactually illustrate rocks, flowers, wood, leaves, and water. An inset contains the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics logo consisting of the checkerboard hand fan emblem, "Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games" in English, and the IPC symbol. The obverse has a similar folding fan pattern, but without the interleaving textures. Crossing ribbons contain "Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games" in English and "Tokyo 2020" in English Braille, and an inset shows the IPC symbol. The side is engraved with the name of the event, along with one, two, or three circular indentations to distinguish gold, silver, and bronze medals respectively. To aid those with visual impairments, the ribbons also contain corresponding silicone convex dots so the medals can be easily identified by touch. They are accompanied by a bag and an indigo wooden carrying box made from Japanese ash.


Aluminium taken from temporary housing in Fukushima will be used to make the torches for the Olympic and Paralympic flames. More than 10,000 pieces of aluminium will be used and organisers contacted local authorities to see which houses were no longer being used. In December 2018, organisers announced that the slogan of the relay would be "Share Your Light".

Torch relay

The details of the torch relay route were announced on 21 November 2019, there will be a Heritage Flame Celebration that will be held in Stoke Mandeville and flame lighting festivals will take place in 43 of Japan's 57 prefectures between 13 and 17 August 2020. Torch relays will be scheduled from 18 to 21 August throughout four prefectures that will co-host Paralympic events during the run up to the Paralympic Opening Ceremony. The flames from each of the flame lighting festivals hosted in each prefecture will be brought together in Tokyo on 21 August where the Paralympic Flame will be officially lit, the last four days of the torch relay will start in Tokyo. The locations in which the torch relay goes through will be similar to the 2020 Summer Olympics torch relay.

The Games


540 Events in 22 sports will be held during the 2020 Summer Paralympics. Cycling events will be split into road and track disciplines. Team events of goalball, sitting volleyball, and wheelchair basketball continue as men's and women's events, wheelchair rugby continues to be a mixed event, while 5-a-side-football will only be open to male competitors. New events and classifications have also been added or realigned in other sports.

  • Archery pictogram (Paralympics).svg Archery (details) (9)
  • Athletics pictogram (Paralympics).svg Athletics (details) (168)
  • Wheelchair badminton pictogram (Paralympics).svg Badminton (details) (14)
  • Boccia pictogram (Paralympics).svg Boccia (details) (7)
  • Cycling (road) pictogram (Paralympics).svg Cycling (details) (51)
    • Cycling (road) pictogram (Paralympics).svg Road (34)
    • Cycling (track) pictogram (Paralympics).svg Track (17)
  • Equestrian pictogram.svg Equestrian (details) (11)
  • Football 5-a-side pictogram (Paralympics).svg Football 5-a-side (details) (1)
  • Goalball pictogram (Paralympics).svg Goalball (details) (2)
  • Judo pictogram.svg Judo (details) (13)
  • Paracanoe pictogram (Paralympics).svg Paracanoe (details) (9)
  • Triathlon pictogram.svg Paratriathlon (details) (8)
  • Powerlifting pictogram (Paralympics).svg Powerlifting (details) (20)
  • Rowing pictogram.svg Rowing (details) (4)
  • Shooting pictogram (Paralympics).svg Shooting (details) (13)
  • Sitting volleyball pictogram (Paralympics).svg Sitting volleyball (details) (2)
  • Swimming pictogram (Paralympics).svg Swimming (details) (146)
  • Table tennis pictogram.svg Table tennis (details) (31)
  • Taekwondo pictogram.svg Taekwondo (details) (6)
  • Wheelchair basketball pictogram (Paralympics).svg Wheelchair basketball (details) (2)
  • Wheelchair fencing pictogram (Paralympics).svg Wheelchair fencing (details) (16)
  • Wheelchair rugby pictogram (Paralympics).svg Wheelchair rugby (details) (1)
  • Wheelchair tennis pictogram (Paralympics).svg Wheelchair tennis (details) (6)

New sports

In January 2014, the IPC began accepting bids for new sports to be added to the Paralympic programme; they included amputee football, badminton, power hockey, powerchair football, and taekwondo. New disciplines were also proposed in existing events, including visually impaired match racing and one-person multi-hull in sailing, and 3-on-3 basketball in intellectually disabled (ID) and wheelchair classifications.

On 31 January 2015, the IPC officially announced that badminton and taekwondo had been added to the Paralympic programme for 2020, which will replace 7-a-side football and sailing (both dropped due to an insufficient international reach).

Test events

There will be test events before the Olympic and Paralympic Games, they will be contested from June 2019 to June 2020 before the start of the 2020 Summer Olympics. The selected Paralympic sports will be athletics (2–3 May 2020), goalball (28–29 September 2019), paratriathlon (15–18 August 2019), powerlifting (26–27 September 2019), swimming (16 April 2020) and wheelchair rugby (12–15 March 2020). It was announced in February 2019 that test events would be under the banner "Ready, Steady, Tokyo." 22 of the 56 events would be organised by the Tokyo organising committee and the rest by national and international organisations. World Sailing's World Cup Series held at Enoshima was the first test event, with last one set to be the Tokyo Challenge Track Meet in May 2020.


The venues for the Paralympic games as detailed on the Tokyo 2020 official website.

Rainbow Bridge,Tokyo Bay from Odaiba
Tokyo Bay, where a number of events will be held
Nippon Budokan 2010
Nippon Budokan, host of the Judo event
Tokyo Big Sight at Night
The International Broadcast and Main Press Centre

Heritage Zone

  • New National Stadium – Athletics, Opening and closing ceremonies
  • Nippon Budokan – Judo
  • Tokyo Equestrian Park – Equestrian
  • Tokyo International Forum – Powerlifting
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium – Table tennis
  • Yoyogi National Stadium – Badminton, Wheelchair rugby

Tokyo Bay Zone

  • Aomi Urban Sports Venue – Football 5-a-side
  • Ariake Arena – Wheelchair basketball (main venue)
  • Ariake Tennis Park – Wheelchair tennis
  • Dream Island Archery Park – Archery
  • Makuhari Messe – Goalball, Sitting volleyball, Taekwondo, Wheelchair fencing
  • Odaiba Marine Park – Paratriathlon
  • Olympic Aquatics Centre – Swimming
  • Olympic Gymnastics Centre – Boccia
  • Sea Forest Waterway – Rowing, Paracanoe

Venues outside 10 km area

  • Musashino Forest Sports Plaza – Wheelchair basketball (preliminaries)
  • Asaka Shooting Range – Shooting
  • Izu Velodrome – Track cycling
  • Fuji Speedway – Road cycling

Non-competition venues

  • Harumi Futo Paralympic Village
  • Tokyo Big Sight Conference Tower – International Media and Broadcast Centre

Participating nations

On 9 December 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned Russia from all international sport for a period of four years, after the Russian government was found to have tampered with lab data that it provided to WADA in January 2019 as a condition of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency being reinstated. As a result of the ban, WADA will allow individually cleared Russian athletes to take part in the 2020 Summer Paralympics under a neutral banner, as instigated at the 2018 Winter Paralympics, but they will not be permitted to compete in team sports. On 26 April 2021 it was confirmed Russian athletes would represent the Russian Paralympic Committee, with the acronym 'RPC'.

As of 23 December  2020 (2020 -12-23), the following 97 NPCs are qualified. Guyana will make its debut appearance at the Paralympic Games while the Solomon Islands will make their second appearance after missing out of the 2016 Summer Paralympics.

Participating National Paralympic Committees
  •  Algeria (48)
  •  Argentina (37)
  •  Australia (131)
  •  Austria (12)
  •  Azerbaijan (7)
  •  Belarus (11)
  •  Belgium (19)
  •  Bermuda (1)
  •  Bhutan (2)
  •  Bosnia and Herzegovina (13)
  •  Brazil (157)
  •  Bulgaria (3)
  •  Canada (87)
  •  Chile (7)
  •  China (230)
  •  Chinese Taipei (2)
  •  Colombia (34)
  •  Costa Rica (1)
  •  Croatia (10)
  •  Cuba (5)
  •  Cyprus (1)
  •  Czech Republic (15)
  •  Denmark (22)
  •  Ecuador (4)
  •  Egypt (24)
  •  Estonia (3)
  •  Ethiopia (1)
  •  Finland (10)
  •  France (61)
  •  Germany (84)
  •  Ghana (2)
  •  Great Britain (139)
  •  Greece (19)
  •  Guyana (1)
  •  Hong Kong (14)
  •  Hungary (19)
  •  Iceland (2)
  •  India (31)
  •  Indonesia (7)
  •  Iran (48)
  •  Iraq (5)
  •  Ireland (12)
  •  Israel (21)
  •  Italy (74)
  •  Japan (175) (host)
  •  Jordan (2)
  •  Kazakhstan (7)
  •  Kenya (3)
  •  Kuwait (1)
  •  Latvia (4)
  •  Libya (1)
  •  Lithuania (8)
  •  Luxembourg (1)
  •  Malaysia (11)
  •  Mexico (37)
  •  Mongolia (4)
  •  Montenegro (1)
  •  Morocco (25)
  •  Myanmar (1)
  •  Namibia (1)
  •  Netherlands (48)
  •  New Zealand (30)
  •  Nigeria (9)
  •  North Macedonia (1)
  •  Norway (10)
  •  Pakistan (1)
  •  Peru (4)
  •  Philippines (2)
  •  Poland (49)
  •  Portugal (19)
  •  Qatar (1)
  •  Romania (2)
  •  RPC (181)
  •  Rwanda (12)
  •  Saudi Arabia (2)
  •  Senegal (1)
  •  Serbia (18)
  •  Singapore (7)
  •  Slovakia (17)
  •  Slovenia (4)
  •  Solomon Islands (1)
  •  South Africa (23)
  •  South Korea (57)
  •  Spain (74)
  •  Sri Lanka (3)
  •  Sweden (19)
  •  Switzerland (9)
  •  Syria (1)
  •  Thailand (41)
  •  Tunisia (12)
  •  Turkey (56)
  •  Ukraine (107)
  •  United Arab Emirates (5)
  •  United States (174)
  •  Uzbekistan (20)
  •  Venezuela (8)
  •  Vietnam (5)


The emblems of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics were unveiled on 25 April 2016. The Paralympic emblem features a hand fan in a circle form, filled with an indigo-colored checkerboard pattern. The design is meant to "express a refined elegance and sophistication that exemplifies Japan". The designs replaced a previous emblem which had been scrapped due to allegations that it plagiarized the logo of the Théâtre de Liège in Belgium.


Tokyo 2020 mascots
Miraitowa (left), the Olympic mascot, and Someity (right), the Paralympic mascot

The shortlist of mascots for the Tokyo Games was unveiled on 7 December 2017 and the winning entry was announced on 28 February 2018. Candidate pair A, created by Ryo Taniguchi, received the most votes (109,041) and was declared the winner, defeating Kana Yano's pair B (61,423 votes) and Sanae Akimoto's pair C (35,291 votes). Someity is a figure with pink chequered patterns inspired by the Games' official logo, as well as cherry blossom flowers. It has a calm but powerful ability, it is nature loving, and it speaks to the wind. Both Miraitowa and Someity were named by the Organising Committee by 22 July 2018.

Animated shorts

Japanese public broadcaster NHK produced a series of short films called Animation x Paralympic: Who Is Your Hero? Each short features a different Paralympic sport, and is designed and produced in collaboration with well-known creators of anime and manga, sometimes featuring crossovers with popular series or with real-life athletes.

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