The 2020 Summer Paralympics were held from 24 August to 5 September in Tokyo, Japan. As the name indicates, the event is ‘parallel’ to the Olympics. Its athletes are people with physical disabilities such as lacking a limb or vision impairment. The first Paralympics were held in Rome, Italy, in 1960, and featured 57 events in 8 sports. This year’s Paralympics, in contrast, featured more than 500 events in 22 sports.
The Games have grown both in size and popularity, especially since the 2012 edition, held in London, when they received wide media coverage, achieving a mass-market appeal.
Great Britain has performed consistently well in the Paralympics, always finishing in the top five in the medal table. This year it placed second behind China and ahead of the United States.
Research shows that the Paralympics are changing people’s attitude towards disability. It is providing a positive example of how society should be supporting disabled people, not just in sports, but in all aspects of everyday life.