Some of us might not be particularly sporty, but the awe-inspiring athletes at the Tokyo Paralympics have got us hooked! See if your favourite highlight has made it onto our list.
Only a few weeks have passed since our city’s epic wins at the 2020 Olympics, but the summer sports spectacle is far from over! The Tokyo Paralympics started on August 24, and there have not only been amazing wins, but also some truly touching and inspiring moments this week. For instance, did you know that the Paralympics has a record number of female athletes – with 1,853 of them – this year? So yeah, we’re off to a great start! Join us as we take a look back at some of our favourite moments from the 2020 Paralympics so far.
Our favourite moments from the 2020 Paralympics
1. The stars at ParaTableTennis
Can you play table tennis? We can’t, not even with two hands. Yet, Ibrahim Hamadtou from Egypt has been absolutely smashing it at the ParaTableTennis games this week – literally. As a double amputee, Hamadtou plays table tennis by holding the racket between his teeth; he’s been doing so since he was ten when he lost both of his arms in a train accident. We salute this man not only for his athletic ability, but also his mental strength and resilience.
On the topic of ParaTableTennis, of course we gotta celebrate Hong Kong’s Wong Ting-ting winning the bronze medal in the Women’s Singles (Class 11)! At just 17 years old, Wong certainly made a striking debut in her first Paralympic Games. According to her coach, Wong has demonstrated exceptional potential despite being born with an intellectual disability. We’re already looking forward to watching her upcoming matches!
2. The power couple in ParaCycling
Name a more iconic duo – we’ll wait. This married couple from Great Britain, Neil and Lora Fachie, each managed to nab a gold medal for ParaCycling within the same hour! Guided by Matthew Rotherham, Neil broke his own world record in the men’s 1,000m time trial B by more than a second; whereas Lora and her guide, Corrine Hall, also broke the world record in the women’s 3,000m individual pursuit B. #CoupleGoals!
3. Unbeatable bench presses in ParaPowerlifting
Do you even lift, bruh?! Well, these guys certainly do. ParaPowerlifting is a demanding sport that requires immense upper body strength. Yet, Bonnie Bunyau Gustin from Malaysia managed to beat his own world record twice on the same day, lifting 228kg – three times his body weight – for the men’s up to 72kg category. On the last day of the ParaPowerlifting competitions, Folashade Oluwafemiayo from Nigeria also managed to set a new world record (like Gustin, she broke her own world record twice) by raising 152kg in the women’s up to 86kg category. Talk about superhuman strength!
4. History in the making with more record-breaking achievements
We’re not crying, you’re crying! Whether it’s the sweet ParaSwimmer Anastasia Pagonis from Team USA breaking the world record in Women’s 400m Freestyle S11, or the Indian athlete Sumit Antil beating his own world record three times in a row for Men’s Javelin Throw F64, we’ve been witnessing the world’s best sportspeople outdoing themselves again and again. What we love the most about the Paralympics is that the athletes always demonstrate that what most of us would consider physical ‘limitations’ are instead something that propels themselves forward – whether it is in sporting achievements, or even in life in general.
5. Care and compassion at the Paralympics
The triathlon is one of the toughest games in the Paralympics (although, arguably, is there a game that’s not tough?) due to its severe and continuous demands on the human body. Through this photo by Kyodo News, we can see the resilience of the Paralympian (Yukako Hata from Japan) and the kind support of the assistants as they help her move from the water to her bike. To these Swim Exit Assistants, as well as the guide runners and guide dogs: thank you for supporting our paralympians!
Stay up to date with the Paralympics here.