Tokyo 2021 Paralympics Begins On High Note

by GoNews Desk 10 months ago Views 4697

Paralympics Tokyo 2021
The 2021 iteration of the Pralympic Games organized in Tokyo, Japan, went off to a positive start in an impressive opening ceremony, even as the stadium remained empty as in the Tokyo Olympics. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and cricketing legend and former Rajya Sabha MP Sachin Tendulkar encouraged the nation and its athletes to succeed in the competition.

India has participated in the Paralympic Games ever since its inception in 1968, with two more appearances in 1972 and 1984 before becoming a regular competitor in the Games every four years. India has a total medal tally of 12 in the event, split equally between Gold, Silver, and Bronze (3 each).


Indian javelin thrower Tek Chand was the flag-bearer at the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics opening ceremony. This Paralympics is also the first to feature a Refugees Team that led the Pride of Nations parade. Almost 80% of the athletes in the Indian contingent are rookies, and will make their debut at this high-profile international sporting event.

 

India’s maiden gold medal was secured in 1972 by Murlikant Petkar in the men’s 50 m freestyle event, clocking in a world record of 37.33 seconds. Hopes have been raised for the contingent after Neeraj Chopra’s recent gold medal in the javelin throw event. Both Petkar and Chopra served in the Army.

The Paralympic Games under the International Paralympics Committee (IPC) started off the Stoke Mandeville Games for recouping servicemen/women and civilian after World War 2. The Stoke Madeville Games originally featured “16 injured servicemen and women who took part in archery” (official website).

Originally meant for physical rehabilitation, it progressed into a recreational and then a competitive sport event. By an arrangement between the IPC and he International Olympic Association (IOA), the Paralympic Games are held in the same city and venue as the Olympics.

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