Athletes from more than 160 countries filled Japan’s Olympic Stadium for a moving and vibrant Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games on 24 August.
The Ceremony was entitled “We Have Wings” and celebrated togetherness and understanding. It marks the arrival of Para Taekwondo on the global stage at the Paralympic Games as the sport prepares to make its Paralympic debut.
Para Taekwondo athletes who carried their country’s flag in the athletes parade included Denmark’s four-time world champion Lisa Gjessing, Mexico’s teenage reigning world champ Juan Diego Garcia Lopez, Peru’s 2019 Parapan Am champ Angelica Espinoza, Aruba’s always entertaining Elliot Loonstra, Kazakhstan’s two-time reigning world champion Nurlan Dombayev, and one of the Solomon Islands’ Solomon Jagiri or Jeminah Otoa – the only two athletes representing their nation in Tokyo.
Para Taekwondo offers the Paralympic Games something completely new and exciting as the only full contact sport on the programme. For the first time, Paralympic audiences will be treated to sensational spin kicks, powerful punches, and amazing speed and agility.
Athletes will compete across six weight categories (three male and three female) over three days of competition, 2-4 September, at the Makuhari Messe Hall B - Chiba, Japan.