Paralympic Games – What is it?

Paralympic Games are periodic series of international multi-sport events involving athletes, who are physically disabled in some way. The Paralympic Games are organized a few days after the Summer Olympic Games. The Paralympic Games are held in the same venue as the Summer Olympics. For example, the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics was followed by the Rio 2016 Paralympics. Several sports have subcategories based on the disabilities of the athletes. In short, Paralympic Games are Olympic Games that are meant for persons with disabilities to compete in international sports.

Like Summer and Winter Olympics, Paralympic Games also have a winter version, right after the Winter Olympics. The first Winter Paralympics was held in Sochi in Russia in 2014. The first Summer Paralympics date way back to Rome in 1960. Since their inception, Paralympic Games have evolved and expanded far and wide due to the different types of disabilities athletes possess.

India has a good record at the Paralympic Games. India’s first-ever individual medal came in 1972 when Murlikant Petkar broke the world record in 50m freestyle to win the gold medal. India’s second gold medal was won by Devendra Jhajaria in javelin throw in 2004. Recent successes at Rio Paralympics 2016 has put India’s hopes for many future medal contenders. Javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia bagged another gold medal in javelin throw, while Mariyappan Thangavelu won gold in the high jump. The high jump event also had India’s Varun Singh Bhati as the bronze medal winner. The veteran shot putter, Deepa Malik, got silver at shot put.

Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020 is now underway in Tokyo, Japan. The Games began on 24th August 2021 and will continue up to 5th September. Along with the Tokyo Summer Olympics, the Paralympics had been postponed to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the world. Now, the Paralympic Games has begun, India will now once again look forward to the medal contenders. After historic success at Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020, India will hope to repeat the same and add more medals to her campaign at Tokyo in Tokyo Summer Paralympics 2020.

Written by – Himadri Paul

Tokyo 2020 Olympics is Underway

It is always said that it is better late than never. The Olympics was originally scheduled to be held initially in the summer of 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. However, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic postponed the mega event that occurs every 4 years. However, extensive research on Covid-19 and the invention of vaccines mean that the games could still be conducted amid strict pandemic protocols. Tokyo has taken the initiative to proceed with the Olympic games in July 2021.

As of now, only two countries have pulled out of the Tokyo Olympics – North Korea and Guinea. Some Czech, US, and British athletes have also pulled themselves out of the Olympics as they are infected with Covid-19. Covid-19 also showed its presence in the games village, where several athletes were found to be Covid-19 positive. Games related Covid-19 cases have till date shot off to 155, of which 20 are residing in the village. Some well-known athletes have also been affected by the deadly virus, including Czech beach volleyball player Ondrej Perusic, Dutch tennis player Jean-Julien Rojer, U.S. tennis player Coco Gauff, British shooter Amber Hill, and Russian swimmer Ilya Borodin.

Russian athletes will be participating in the Tokyo Olympics as ROC, or Russian Olympic Community. Russians are not allowed to use their flag or national anthem in the event as the World Anti-Doping Association, or WADA, has banned Russia from participating in Olympics for 4 years, which has now been cut down to 2 years. As a result, 335 Russian athletes, who have cleared themselves of being unaware of doping scandals, will now participate under the name ROC.

The tournament kicked off well for India, with Mirabai Chanu from Manipur, clinching the silver medal in women’s weightlifting in the 49kg category. She became the second person to get an Olympic medal in weightlifting after Karnam Malleshwari’s bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Mirabai lifted a total of 202kg to secure the second spot after China’s Hou Zhizhi, who lifted 210kg in total, creating Olympic record. The veteran badmintonist and Rio Olympic’s silver medallist, PV Sindhu, the boxing legend and London Olympic’s bronze medallist, Mary Kom, and the Indian men’s hockey team have started well in their Olympics campaign.

Written by – Himadri Paul