After 12 days of outstanding athleticism, skill and courage, the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games is over. The global sporting event was a feast of historic firsts and moments of shared joy and pain. These are just some of the memorable highlights.
After a year’s delay to the start of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, “moving forward” had been the overwhelming theme of the Opening Ceremony. From that impressive start to the Games, there has been a stream of outstanding performances from more than 4,400 athletes who have travelled from across the globe to take part; from historic firsts to moments of shared joy and pain. We salute everyone who took part.
Here we record just a few of the many special moments.
DAY 1: Australia’s Paige Greco wins first gold at Tokyo 2020
Paige Greco, 24, became the first gold medallist of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The Australian won the C1-3 3,000m individual pursuit, in a time of 3:50.815 to set a new world record.
READ MORE: Australia’s Paige Greco wins first gold medal of Tokyo 2020 Paralympic GamesPaige Greco AUS is presented with the Gold Medal in the Track Cycling Womens C3 3000m Individual Pursuit at the Izu Velodrome, Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Tokyo, Japan, Wednesday 25 August 2021. Photo: OIS/Thomas Lovelock. Handout image supplied by OIS/IOCHandout image supplied by OIS/IOC. Olympic Information Services OIS.
DAY 2: SUZUKI Takayuki wins Japan’s first gold in their home Paralympic Games
SUZUKI Takayuki has made history by securing Japan’s first gold medal in home soil after clocking in 1:21:58 in the men’s 100m freestyle – S4. It is the Japanese swimmer’s fifth Paralympic Games but just his second gold medal and it comes 13 years after he won his last Paralympic title at Beijing 2008 in the 50m breaststroke SB3.
READ MORE: SUZUKI Takayuki wins Japan their first gold medal of Tokyo 2020 Paralympic GamesTOKYO, JAPAN – AUGUST 26: SUZUKI Takuyaki of Team Japan finishes to win the gold medal after competing in the Men’s 100m Freestyle S4 final on day 2 of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on August 26, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)2021 Getty Images
Day 3: Refugee Paralympic athlete Abbas Karimi competes in the swimming finals
Refugee Paralympic team member Abbas Karimi has made the final of the men’s 50m butterfly S5 event. Born in Afghanistan without arms, Karimi finished third in his heat in a time of 36.36 and qualified for the final of the men’s 50m butterfly S5 – a formidable achievement regardless of his last placed finish in the final.
Meet refugee Para swimmer Abbas Karimi01:00
Born without arms Abbas Karimi fled his home in Afghanistan for a new future and created history at the 2017 World Para Swimming Championships.
Day 4: Bebe Vio secures second Paralympic gold medal
In a rerun of their match back in Rio 2016, Bebe Vio won again against China PR’s ZHOU Jingjing after the Italian fencer scored 15-8 in the gold medal match in individual foil.
READ MORE: Bebe Vio wins second Paralympic gold medal in wheelchair fencing after dominant performance at Tokyo 2020CHIBA, JAPAN: Bebe Vio celebrates her Paralympic gold medal victory at Tokyo 2020 in the women’s foil individual – Category B. (Photo by Raul Cadenas de la Vega / Olympics.com)
Day 5: History made: Great Britain win first ever medal in wheelchair rugby
Great Britain have become the first European nation to win gold in Wheelchair Rugby at the Paralympic Games with a 54-49 win over the United States at Tokyo 2020.
While Great Britain had reached bronze medal matches at Atlanta 1996, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, they had never won a medal, finishing fourth on all four occasions.
Day 6: Elation as PR China’s table tennis legend ZHAO Shuai wins his third consecutive Paralympic gold
PR China’s ZHAO Shuai was elated after he won his third consecutive Paralympic gold in the men’s table tennis singles 8 after he defeated Ukraine’s Viktor Didukh 3-1 in the final. He also won gold in the men’s team event.
“I wanted to win too much, I felt so close to the gold. Job accomplished,” said the champion.TOKYO, JAPAN – AUGUST 30: Shuai Zhao of Team Republic of China celebrates a point against Viktor Didukh of Team Ukraine in the Men’s Single Final C8 category on day 6 of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on August 30, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)2021 Getty Images
Day 7: Double first for Oksana Masters as she becomes a champion in both Summer and Winter Games
Oksana Masters has become a Paralympic champion in both a Summer and Winter Games after winning gold in the women’s cycling H4-5 Time Trial this morning.
The 32-year-old won two golds at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Paralympic Games in cross-country skiing.
Day 8: ‘Blade jumper’ Markus Rehm wins third consecutive Paralympic gold medal
Markus Rehm of Germany claimed gold after leaping to 8.18m on his fifth attempt at the Olympic Stadium. This is the third straight Paralympic victory for the athlete, known as the “Blade Jumper”, after claiming the same titles at London 2012 (T42/44) and Rio 2016 (T44). He also has another gold in the 4x100m relay at Rio.
READ MORE: Blade Jumper Markus Rehm leaps to gold in men’s long jump T64TOKYO, JAPAN – SEPTEMBER 01: Markus Rehm of Team Germany competes in the Men’s Long Jump – T64 Final on day 8 of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at Olympic Stadium on September 01, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)2021 Getty Images
Day 9: History in the making for Sarah Storey as she wins 17th Paralympic gold medal
Sarah Storey is crowned Great Britain’s most successful Paralympic athlete after winning her 17th gold medal after winning the cycling C4-5 road race today in at 2:21:51 to finish ahead of teammate Crystal Lane-Wright.
This is Storey’s eighth Paralympic Games and fourth as a cyclist following a career in swimming.
READ MORE: Sarah Storey makes history for Great Britain with 17th Paralympic gold medalOYAMA, JAPAN – AUGUST 31: Sarah Storey of Team Great Britain celebrates winning the gold medal in the Cycling Road Women’s C5 Time Trial on day 7 of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at Fuji International Speedway on August 31, 2021 in Oyama, Japan. (Photo by Toru Hanai/Getty Images)2021 Getty Images
Day 10: Debut dream for Lisa Gjessing with first Paralympic gold in taekwondo
Four-time world champion and three-time European champion Lisa Gjessing from Denmark became a Paralympic champion in taekwondo, which made its debut at Tokyo 2020, as she claimed gold in the women’s K44-58kg medal match against Great Britain’s Beth Munro.
The Dane stole the spotlight as she outclassed the British taekwondo athlete to lead 12-4 9-4 11-6 to win with a final score of 32-14.
READ MORE: Lisa Gjessing wins first ever Para taekwondo medal for DenmarkLisa GjessingWorld Taekwondo
Day 11: Simply the best: IR Iran win men’s sitting volleyball for seventh time
IR Iran showed that they are the top of the world in men’s sitting basketball by winning their seventh consecutive Paralympic gold medal after defeating the Russian Paralympic Committee in a 3-1 victory.
READ MORE: Champions again as Islamic Republic of Iran win men’s sitting volleyball for seventh timeCHIBA, JAPAN – SEPTEMBER 04: Team Islamic Republic of Iran celebrates its gold medal win over Team Russian Paralympic Committee during the men’s sitting volleyball gold match on day 11 of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at Makuhari Messe Hall on September 04, 2021 in Chiba, Japan. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)2021 Getty Images
Day 12: Slam dunk as USA retain men’s wheelchair basketball Paralympic title
The USA men’s wheelchair basketball team defended their Rio 2016 title in a nail-biting final against Japan, which they won 64-60, on the final day of competition at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.