2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games: Celebrating 60 years of competition
Japan's emperor declared the Tokyo Paralympics open in a nearly empty stadium on Tuesday, with athletes ready to defy stereotypes and shatter records despite a year-long pandemic delay. Emperor Naruhito made the announcement surrounded by banks of vacant multicoloured seats at Tokyo's 68,000-capacity Olympic Stadium, with virus rules banning spectators from almost all Games events. Speaking to France 24, Jean-Loup Chappelet, Professor at Lausanne University and Olympics specialist, takes a look at how the Paralympics have developed and evolved over the past six decades. For Mr. Chappelet, there were two defining moments for the Paralympics: 'The Paralympics started to be important in 1988 when they joined the Olympics, right after the Olympics, in the same facilities.' Then in 2012, in London, for the first time ever there was 'one organizing committee for both Olympics and Paralympics.'