The Paralympic athletes are taking over on Tuesday, August 24, 2021. In Tokyo, ambitions are strong with a view to Paris 2024.
This is the second time since the creation of the 1960 Paralympic Games in Rome that the Japanese capital has welcomed athletes, after 1964.
From the opening ceremony on August 24 to the closing ceremony on September 5, 4,400 athletes will compete in 22 disciplines, including badminton and taekwondo, which will enter the Paralympic Games.
Goal: 35 medals
At the Rio Games in 2016, France returned with 28 medals. It is aiming for 35 medals in Tokyo.
This is an achievable goal in view of the increase in support for Paralympic athletes and especially those of high level since the last Games.
“The resources of the federations have been strengthened, the human accompaniment of the athletes has been developed with wider teams. We called on innovation and science to support our athletes. It is all these elements that, put together, allow us to hope for more medals in Tokyo”, explains Marie-Amélie Le Fur, President of the French Paralympic and Sports Committee (Comité paralympique et sportif français (CPSF)).
A “conquering” French team
The emblematic representative of the disabled sport, 8 times Paralympic medalist including 2 in gold at the last Rio 2016 Games, is a versatile athlete. She is a specialist in the 100m, 200m, 400m and length. For Tokyo, she decided to focus solely on the long jump. With a world record of 6.14 m set last February, she is the favourite in the event. She will not be the only one.
In the lead, the flag-bearers of the French delegation: Stéphane Houdet and Sandrine Martinet, respectively in tennis and judo, will race for gold. A metal whose taste they know for having conquered during the last Olympics.
Marie-Amélie Le Fur, President of the French Paralympic and Sports Committee : “There is a real desire to compete in Tokyo, to go and get medals, to give the best of oneself. We have a team from conquering France.”
Tokyo, in addition to the medals, is an important step in the recognition of sport with disabilities. The Paris 2024 Olympics will be an exceptional showcase to raise awareness and develop handisport in France.