Paralympics opening ceremony: pandemic, politics and plenty of fun | Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020


The location for the Paralympics opening ceremony, at least in the imagination, was that of the Para Airport. After all the dispiriting pandemic processes every athlete has been forced to endure after getting off the plane in Japan, they might not have welcomed the reminder, but there you are.

It was a different kind of airport though, one of sweeping colour, soft purples and greens, one awash with music and a place which gave flight to themes of creativity, endeavour and possibility. It also had 380 volunteers dressed in hats with big purple propellers on them, and you don’t get that at London Luton.

After a period of uncertainty – correction – amidst a period of ongoing uncertainty, the Paralympic Games finally got under way in Tokyo on Tuesday night local time and the feeling was a good one. This airport, it turned out, was a great place to be, one which through a series of traditional son et lumiere set pieces projected a vision of disability…

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