Less and less is missing for the most important event in terms of sport adapted to disability , the Paralympic Games . The competition will start next Tuesday, August 24 with the opening ceremony, but the athletes will not compete until the 25th , when the goalball kicks off.
A total of 129 delegations will participate in this edition that will end on Sunday, August 5 . From Vozpópuli we have made a selection of the data that is essential to be able to know more information about games that are unknown to the majority of the population.
From the types of disabilities that constitute each discipline to the medal options of the Spanish, this is everything you need to take into account to follow the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games
The total number of sports in which Paralympic athletes compete is 22 , among which are the following: athletics , wheelchair basketball , badminton , boccia , cycling , wheelchair fencing , football-5 , goalball , weightlifting , horse riding , judo , swimming , canoeing , rowing , wheelchair rugby , taekwondo , table tennis ,wheelchair tennis , archery , Olympic shooting , triathlon , and sitting volleyball .
These Olympics will have a new component, and that is that two disciplines that were not part of the Paralympic plan will be incorporated into the competition. Taekwondo and badminton will debut in Tokyo .
Those who are no longer
Apart from the sports mentioned above, there are a number of disciplines that were part of the Paralympic Games for years, but which ceased to belong to the program for different reasons and criteria. These are: DI basketball (ceased to be Paralympic in 2000) , lawn bowling (1996), soccer 7 (2016), dartchery (1980), weightlifting (1992), wrestling (1984), snooker (1988) and sailing (2016).
Types of disabilities covered by the event
The Paralympic Games include a division of the disciplines based on the type of disability that the athletes have. There are 10 different groups depending on the limitations presented by the athletes . In turn, these are distributed into three groups: physical disability, visual disability and intellectual disability .
Within the physical disabilities are the following limitations: limitations in muscular power, alteration of the passive range of movement, amputation or deficiency in one or more extremities, difference in the length of the legs, short stature, muscular hypertrophy, ataxia and athetosis.
In the group of visually impaired athletes are all those who have significant vision difficulties that are sufficient to be legally judged as blind . For what it incorporates from those who have partial vision to those who suffer from total blindness.
Finally, in the category of intellectual disability , athletes who suffer a significant deterioration in intellectual functioning and limitations associated with adaptive behavior are included. In addition, this group only includes those elite athletes who have been diagnosed before the age of 18 .
Types of disabilities included in each sport
The sports of the Paralympic Games have different criteria when preparing both the competition programs and the requirements and conditions to participate, in such a way that in each discipline there are different rules and standards. This means that some do not include athletes from the three disability groups explained above and that only those from one group or two can participate.
Swimming and athletics are the only disciplines in which athletes with all three types of disabilities can participate . In this way, within the competition there are different categories in which the tests are adapted according to disability.
Cycling , horse riding , rowing , table tennis , shooting and triathlon have categories for two of the three groups . Table tennis is the only one in which, along with those with physical disabilities, those with some intellectual limitation compete. In the rest, only the physically and visually disabled participate.
The other remaining sports are only adapted to the group of athletes with physical limitations .
The Spanish Paralympic delegation has a total of 139 athletes and another 15 supporters . Up to 12 sports federations provide athletes who will fight for almost two weeks in 15 of the 22 disciplines for the medals.
The Canarian swimmer Michelle Alonso and the Valencian Ricardo Ten , champion in swimming and cycling, will be the Spanish flag bearers during the opening day parade.
Medal options for the Spanish
Teresa Perales , from Zaragoza , who just received the Princess of Asturias Award for Sports last June , is one of Spain’s great hopes in these games. The swimmer has a total of 26 Paralympic medals , being the one that monopolizes the most metals in this discipline.
On the other hand, Toni Ponce , who got an Olympic diploma in his debut in Rio , arrives in Tokyo with a great record in the events of recent years and is another of the most outstanding options in swimming. Likewise, in athletics, the Catalan Gerard Descarrega , who won gold in Rio, is also the favorite in athletics.
For his part, Alberto Suárez Laso constitutes an important asset in triathlon for the Spanish delegation. The cyclist Alfonso Cabello and the table tennis player Álvaro Varela are also two candidates for gold in their disciplines.
Finally, Susana Rodríguez is the great favorite in the triathlon modality in these games. The Galician triathlete has been occupying the first place in the world ranking in recent years.
Top 3 Spanish athletes with the most medals
Teresa Perales is the Spanish athlete with the most metals, with a total of 26 medals , of which 7 are gold, 9 silver and 10 bronze. She is followed by Purificación García , with 16 medals divided into 11 gold, 4 silver and 1 bronze. Finally, in third place is Richard Oribe , who also has 16 metals , of which 7 are gold, 6 are silver and 2 are bronze.
Legacy of ‘Rio 2016’
At the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games , Spain ranked 11th in the medal table , winning a total of 31 medals , divided into 9 gold, 14 silver and 8 bronze medals. The top-3 was led by China , who took a whopping 239 medals . Great Britain and Ukraine followed with 147 and 117 , respectively.
This will be the sixteenth edition of the Paralympic Games. The first took place in 1960 and was attended by more than 400 athletes in wheelchairs, from 23 countries , who competed in the 8 sports that at that time constituted the sports program of the competition.