The international athlete walk-outs began with the six-member Refugee Paralympic Team. Transformative 2020 Tokyo Paralympic opening ceremony underway. Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games streaming schedule PREVIEWCanadian Paralympians ready to push movement forward as Games set to begin Japanese Emperor Naruhito kicked off the festivities against the backdrop theme “We Have Wings.
Priscilla Gagné is Canada’s flag-bearer and leads the Canadian delegation at the National Stadium in Tokyo during the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games. Gagné is among 128 Canadians, including guides, who are in Tokyo to compete in 18 different sports. Here, performers are seen at the beginning of the opening ceremony on Tuesday. (Ivan Alvarado/Reuters)
Following a year of delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Paralympics officially began at the empty National Stadium in Tokyo as the city remains under a state of emergency.
One hundred and sixty-two flags, beginning with the Refugee Paralympic Team and concluding with Japan, were represented in the parade of athletes.
Live coverage hosted by Scott Russell and decorated wheelchair racer Sen. Chantal Petitclerc began at 6 a.m. ET on the CBC TV network, CBC Gem, the CBC Sports app and CBC Sports website.
The ceremony began at 7 a.m. ET., with a prime-time broadcast airing later Tuesday at 7 p.m. local time.
CBC TV coverage is presented with closed captioning and described video, and streaming will include American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation.
Among the few on hand were Douglas Emhoff, husband of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.
“I cannot believe we are finally here,” Parsons said in his opening remarks. “Many doubted this day would happen. Many thought it impossible. But thanks to the efforts of many, the most transformative sport event on earth is about to begin.”
Priscilla Gagné led Canadian athletes into the stadium after being announced as the country’s flag-bearer over the weekend. The Para judo medal contender, who has retinitis pigmentosa, a visual impairment, is competing in her second Paralympic Games.