The Paralympic Games will take place from August 24 to September 5, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. Here’s what you need to know about this little-publicized event.
The opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games takes place on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 from 1 p.m. KST. 134 delegations will be presented and 22 sports will be contested during 539 events. A total of 4,000 athletes from around the world are expected to attend the Paralympic Games. We will find athletics, rowing, badminton, wheelchair basketball, canoeing, road cycling, wheelchair fencing, judo, swimming, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair tennis , archery, triathlon or even volleyball. Note that two new disciplines join the Paralympic Games, parabadminton and parataekwondo.
With the seven hour difference between France and Japan, the vast majority of the events of these Paralympic Games will be contested from 2 a.m. to end around 3 p.m., French hours, like the Olympic Games. On the public side, it will also be the same for the Paralympic Games. The competitions will take place without spectators due to the health situation. Some exceptions will be made for competitions organized in more remote departments. As to traditional Olympic torch relay, it was replaced by ignitions all over Japan. “We had planned a Paralympic Torch Relay in Tokyo with around 700 runners, but due to the state of emergency we decided not to hold it on public roads.”, explained Koichi Osakabe, an official of the metropolitan government of the capital, to France Info.
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The Paralympic Games: a little-publicized event
The Tokyo 2021 Paralympic Games will be broadcast by France Télévisions, on France 3 and France 4. If, like the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games, France Television will take care of the broadcasting, it is clear that there is little media coverage for this event. During the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games, France Télévisions accumulated 3,600 hours of broadcasting and 30 simultaneous direct. However, the Paralympic Games will only be entitled to 100 hours of broadcasts. “Things are bad this year, because at the start of the school year, we have a lot of training and programs to broadcast. While during the months of July and August we were more free. But in the end, we managed to guarantee the ” all of these games between the antenna and the website“explained Marie Millet, communications officer for France Télévisons, to The voice of the North.
In 2016, the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games shattered world television audience records. It remains to be seen whether those in Tokyo 2021 will reach the 4.1 billion cumulative viewers like four years ago. For its part, France Television is committed to daily direct broadcasting, according to Marie Millet. “We will do a direct broadcast, every day, on France 3 and France 4 from 7 am until the end of the last sporting events between 3 pm or 4 pm All the competitions which will take place between 2 am and 7 am will be posted on the website. “
The most promising French athletes at the Paralympic Games
The French delegation will be represented by the judoka Sandrine Martinet. It is a consecration for the world number 1. Visually impaired since childhood, this year she is looking for a second Paralympic title, after her coronation in Rio, in 2016. But she will compete, this time, in a different category. After having played her four previous Olympic tournaments in the under 52 kg category, she will be competing in the under 48 kg category at the Tokyo 2021 Paralympic Games. At her side to carry the French flag, there will be Stéphane Houdet, legend of wheelchair tennis who is aiming for a first individual coronation after silver in 2012 and fourth place in 2016. At 52, the athlete, victim of a motorcycle accident in 1996, intends to expand his already XXL record.
Among the French athletes to follow very closely, there is also swimmer Ugo Didier, 19 years old. If the young man is preparing to play his first Paralympic Games, he is already one of the favorites in swimming competition. Despite atrophied lower limbs, he has always trained in a club with able-bodied. Ugo Didier won his first world title at just 16 years old. For Tokyo 2021, the young prodigy aims very high. “I have fairly high time targets, that’s how we work to challenge ourselves as well as possible. I would like to be under the minute for the 100m backstroke. I also aim for the medal of gold for the Tokyo Paralympic Games, but also make a podium in the 400m freestyle “, he explains to Handisport Équipe de France. No doubt, the Paralympic Games deserve our full attention.
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