ParalympicsGB set a new world record for most golds won at the Paralympics. In a competition where they have been the prohibitive favourites for some time, the team’s dominance was achieved in a race that saw GB claim a total of 19 golds, a new world record, breaking their previous record of 17 set in Beijing in 2008.
On September 7, the British Paralympics team became the first ever team to win three gold medals at one Games .
The ParalympicsGB team had an outstanding performance at the Rio Paralympics and went out with a gold medal, becoming the first British team to take a medal on the world stage. The team also became the first to win two gold medals on the world stage and thereby qualified for the London Paralympics intending to rewrite the history books.
Krysten Coombs’ bronze medal in badminton was Great Britain’s 124th and final medal from the Tokyo Olympics.
With their achievement in Tokyo, Great Britain’s squad “rewrote the history books,” according to ParalympicsGB’s director Penny Briscoe.
GB finished second in the medal standings behind China with 124 medals, including 41 golds.
While those totals are down from five years ago in Rio, Britain won medals in 18 of the 19 sports they competed in, setting a new team record.
“For ParalympicsGB, it’s been a fantastic Games,” Briscoe added.
“We’re very pleased with the team’s performance.”
The return of Russian competitors – participating under the banner of their Paralympic Committee after being banned in 2016 – made duplicating Rio’s medal totals unlikely, according to Chef de mission Briscoe.
After winning 34 golds and 120 medals in London 2012, Britain earned 64 golds and 147 medals overall in Rio.
“The medal total was always going to be tough in because of the return of Russian competitors,” she told Radio 5 Live. However, the team’s achievement of medals in 18 of the 19 sports was a really remarkable achievement.
“Out here in Tokyo, we’ve rewritten the history books.”
In six months, the Winter Paralympics will begin in Beijing, with the Summer Games in Paris just three years away.
“The Tokyo campaign has been a tremendous endeavor,” said Briscoe. “It’s been difficult, complicated, and very demanding. Not only during the 12 days of competition, but also throughout the 18 months leading up to the Games.”
Farewell to Tokyo with a sing-along
The Games came to a close with a glittering closing ceremony that honored Japan’s unique blend of cutting-edge technology and distinct culture, as well as recognizing the unique difficulties of hosting the Games amid the coronavirus epidemic.
Following a performance in the Olympic Stadium that recalled old console games and karaoke, as well as a somber acknowledgment of the behind-the-scenes healthcare workers, Paris, the next host, took center stage.
As part of the closing ceremony, fireworks light up the night sky in Tokyo.
In a computer-generated picture, the Eiffel Tower was given a prosthetic running blade in place of one of its four legs, and a group of French gold winners, joined by Olympic equivalents, singers, and circus performers, applauded underneath it.
The head of the Tokyo Organising Committee, Seiko Hashimoto, who participated in seven Olympic Games as a track cyclist and speed skater throughout her athletic career, paid homage to the participants.
“This stage has been lit by the indomitable spirit of all those who have overcome adversity,” she added.
“Your incredible performances left us speechless. We were all shaken to the core by your lengthy and difficult journey.”
The Games came to a close with a performance of Louis Armstrong’s jazz classic What a Wonderful World by athletes and entertainers.
The liveliness of the host city was mirrored in the performers.
‘Stronger than ever,’ says Paralympic movement
According to International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president Andrew Parsons, the Games’ staging in the midst of the epidemic has shown that the paralympic movement is “stronger than ever before.”
The Games, like the Olympics earlier this summer, were held behind closed doors, with Covid-19 case numbers in Japan breaking 25,000 per day for the first time four days before the opening ceremony.
He remarked, “I believe these Games were simply fantastic.”
“The sport was incredible; world records were set in every sport imaginable.” The performances were outstanding. It’s incredible to imagine that these athletes trained for these Games while dealing with the pandemic’s limitations.
“It demonstrates that the Paralympic movement is more powerful than ever.”
In 2024, Parsons wants to have all sports broadcast live.
At the Tokyo Olympics, there was no live television coverage of wheelchair fencing, powerlifting, or para-taekwondo due to budget limitations.
At Paris 2024, Parsons said that he hopes to have live coverage of all sports.
“We covered 13 events live in Rio, and we’re covering 19 sports live in Tokyo,” he told Radio 5 Live.
Three of the 22 Paralympic sports were not aired live on television because broadcasters’ budgets did not allow for complete coverage.
“Of course, we’d want to have the 22 sports aired live on TV, but it’s a question of resources and broadcasting rights at the end of the day.”
“I was disappointed not to be able to see these events live, but on the other hand, we made tremendous progress from 13 in Rio to 19 here in Tokyo.”
After witnessing how well karate, baseball, skateboarding, climbing, and surfing did during the Tokyo Olympics, Parsons said the IPC would take a “more focused approach” to introducing new sports to the Paralympic program.
The sports selection for Paris 2024 is similar to that of Tokyo, but wheelchair basketball is currently awaiting official confirmation that it will be included due to IPC-mandated modifications to its classification criteria.
Any major modifications to the Paralympics program would not take effect until 2028 in Los Angeles.
“We’ll be more aggressive in choosing sports that we believe would appeal to the public or that the host country may find intriguing,” Parsons said.
Storey creates a new chapter, according to the headline.
Sarah Storey initially participated in the 1992 Paralympic Games in Barcelona.
With victories in the solo pursuit, time trial, and road race, Sarah Storey claimed her 15th, 16th, and 17th Paralympic championships in a career that has spanned eight Games and two sports.
Storey is currently the most successful British Paralympian of all time, surpassing swimmer Mike Kenny.
While the 43-year-old plans to participate again in Paris 2024, partly to allow her three-year-old son Charlie to see the Paralympics firsthand, other British luminaries will not be returning.
Ellie Simmonds, a five-time Olympic champion swimmer, and Libby Clegg, who won the T11 sprint double on the track in Rio, have announced that their Paralympic careers will conclude in Tokyo.
However, a new generation of stars emerged, headed by Britain’s most successful athlete at the Games, swimmer Reece Dunn, who won five medals, including three golds.
On his Paralympic debut, Dunn won five medals.
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