The 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games have begun. The 12-day competition has 539 events in 22 sports. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said 161 countries and 4,500 para athletes will take part. Japan's emperor opened the Games. He said: "I would like to join you in wishing all athletes the very best." The IPC president said the Paralympics were "fantastic to watch" and have the ability to change society.
The Games should have taken place last year but coronavirus postponed them. The IPC president said: "I cannot believe we are finally here.…Thanks to the efforts of many, the most transformative sport event on Earth is about to begin." A 14-year-old swimmer spoke about her excitement. She said: "I feel like I'm meeting movie stars." She added: "Since it's the Paralympics and everybody else is disabled, I feel really comfortable."