The Paralympic Games will be held in Tokyo for the first time in 57 years. This makes the Japanese capital the first city to host the games twice. The opening ceremony of the 16th Paralympic Games began here on Tuesday, paying tribute to the resilience of para-sport athletes and the message of moving forward amid the relentless wreckage of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ceremony will take place in a "Para Airport" - a symbol of diversity and inclusion - and started with a video demonstrating the power of para-athletes.
In the video, a light breeze turns into a huge gust of wind that reaches the stadium and rolls across the field. Next, a group of crew members working at the airport begins a countdown, after which fireworks light up the night sky to celebrate the start of the Games.
Andrew Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee, and Japanese Emperor Naruhito were greeted at the stadium before the Japanese flag was carried on the podium by six people, including Kaori Icho, quadruple Olympic freestyle wrestling champion, and Takumi Astani , a lifeguard.
This showpiece edition will feature an unprecedented number of 4,403 athletes.
The previous record was 4,328, set at the Rio 2016 Games.
At the Tokyo edition, 2,550 male and 1,853 female athletes will compete for top honours.
India is represented by the largest delegation of 54 athletes ever to compete in 12 days.
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