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The Paralympics have come to an end!

The Paralympics have officially come to an end with a colourful, circus-like ceremony at the National Stadium. The ceremony took place in front of a sea of empty seats, with only a small number of officials and dignitaries, including Japan’s Crown Prince Fumihito. the younger brother of Emperor Naruhito, and Tokyo Governor, Yuriko Koike, in attendance.

Olympic historian David Wallechinsky said in an email to The Associated Press. "If it hadn't been for the COVID-related difficulties, these would be right at or near the top of the best-organized of the 19 Olympics - Summer and Winter - I have attended."

There were 4,405 athletes and a record number of countries winning gold, silver or bronze medals. Australia finished with a total of 80 medals – 21 gold, 29 silver and 30 bronze.

In a departure from the opening ceremony format, athletes were already seated in the middle of the stadium from the beginning, cheering and clapping, with only the designated flagbearers marching into the venue. This included two competitors evacuated from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, who carried their flag at the closing ceremony after arriving in Tokyo during the games thanks to a multinational effort. Swimmer Ellie Cole, Australia’s most decorated female Paralympian with 17 medals across four Paralympian Games, was retiring in style as Australia’s proud flag bearer.

After a joyful, diverse and emotional celebration the Paralympic flag was passed to Paris Mayor, Anne Hidalgo, as representative of the 2024 Summer Games in the French capital.

A chorus of voices, including a sign-language performer, sang a moving rendition of Louis Armstrong’s "What a Wonderful World." After which the spherical cauldron closed, the Paralympic flame was extinguished and fireworks lit the sky.

During both Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games we have been posting on Facebook and Instagram, focussing on an athlete, a sport, the sporting venue and also nearby tourist areas. Click on the links below for some of the highlights from the Paralympics. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

GOLD for Vanessa Low who broke the world record in the Women's Long Jump T63 final not once but three times with her biggest jump coming in at 5.28M! Vanessa was born in East Germany. In 2006, at the age of 15, she lost her balance on a railway platform and was hit by a train. See more >>>

Day 5 and Day 6 Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games saw Australian Daniel Michel compete in boccia against Sweden’s Maria Bjurstrom on Sunday with a final score was a win for Michel 8:0. Today (Monday) he competed again Brazil’s Evelyn Oliveira. See more >>>

Day 4 Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and Australia wins silver and bronze in swimming for the Men’s 150m Individual Medley (SM3). Tom Decent from the Sydney Morning Herald could not have said it better when he wrote “Beaten by a bloke named Jesus, Kelly and Scooter’s first Paralympic medals are still heavenly”. Mexico’s Jesus Hernandez Hernandez secured the gold medal alongside of best mates Ahmed Kelly (silver) and Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson (bronze). See more >>>

Day 3 Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and wheelchair rugby, one of the most exciting events at any Paralympic Games. The sport mixes bash and crash with skill and tactics. It made its Paralympic debut at Atlanta 1996 with the USA winning the sport’s first gold medal against Canada in the final. The game was invented in Canada in 1977 and was originally known unofficially as 'Murderball'. The sport is popular as both a participation and spectator event.

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Day 2 Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games - Ma Lin is a Chinese born, naturalised Australian tennis table player. Lin is the world number 3 player who has never been able to produce a win over Italian star Kalem. However in today’s rounds he managed to defeat world number 6 player, Italy's Mohamed Kalem, with a straight-sets win. Ma has previously won five Paralympic medals, four gold, in three Summer Paralympic Games, five world titles and eleven Asian titles in his sport. See more >>>

Aussies make a perfect start to the Tokyo Paralympics with the first gold medal in cycling gold. Australia's Paige Greco and Emily Petricola strike gold at the velodrome with victory in their respective C3 and C4 individual pursuit events. A few minutes later, Greco's teammate Emily Petricola lapped American rival Shawn Morelli to take out the C4 3,000m pursuit.

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Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games were officially declared open by Emperor Naruhito on Tuesday evening 24th August. Over the next two weeks 4,400 athletes from 162 countries will compete in a total of 22 sports at 21 venues. Para-badminton and Para-taekwondo will be making their Paralympic debut. See more >>>

The Tokyo Sightseeing Accessibility Guide has been recently updated to assist elderly visitors and those with a disability to have a pleasant, stress-free sightseeing experience in the city. This easy-to-use guide includes 30 sightseeing courses linking various highlights and attractions, with information on accessibility, travel times and tips to make the journey more enjoyable. Click here >>>

Missing Japan? We can't wait to start organising trips to Japan again. In the meantime we have been planning new tours for schools as well as ideas and trips for families and friends. Visit our website and start dreaming!

Written by Rondell Herriot, Co-Managing Director Saizen Tours

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