The Hope Games say goodbye to Tokyo heading to Paris

An ending is always the prelude to a new beginning. The Tokyo Paralympic Games pulled the curtain down on Sunday. This festival of diversity and capacity was closed, which begins its short journey to Paris 2024. A path marked by the hope of leaving behind a pandemic that once again deprived the public in the stands of the National Stadium. To counteract it, electronic music and lights, with the 2,000 athletes as the main protagonists. His example serves as a book of instructions for life, so that you never lose heart, no matter how complicated the challenge you face. The closing ceremony told precisely the story of a boy, who after living the Games, is infected with that spirit.

The lights went out on time, at 20:00 local time, to show the images of the volunteers and the members of some delegations of the countries in a countdown culminated by the fireworks. Then, screens at the Tokyo National Stadium projected some of the highlights of these Games, scenes in which you could see the armless goalkeeper Matt Stutzman, the paddler Ibrahim Hamadtou playing with his mouth … spiced up by electronic music, which moved to the main stage, in a color show that culminated in the phrase: “Thank you to all the Paralympians”. Arigato Tokyo.

The President of the International Paralympic Committee, Andrew Parsons, accompanied by Fumihito, Prince Akishino and younger brother of Emperor Naruhito, saluted just before the national flag of Japan entered. Moment in which it occurred the parade of athletes from all countries, including Afghans, the taekwondo player Zakia Khudadadi and the athlete Hossain Rasouli and the standard bearer of the Spanish team, swimmer Marta Fernández.

These Games have also left other details. American swimmer Jessica Long took one more stroke than Michael Phelps, surpassing him in number of medals, where China wiped out 207 metals – it took 96 golds of the 539 at stake -, followed by Great Britain (124) and the United States (104). Spain is fifteenth in the ranking by countries with its 36 medals, five more than those achieved at the Rio 2016 event. Eleven of them with the signing of newcomers, so the generational change seems guaranteed.

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The new members of the Athletes’ Council of the International Paralympic Committee, among whom were the Brazilian swimmer Daniel Dias, the Cuban athlete Omara Durand and the Iranian goalkeeper Zahra Nemati, joined the a party where the next host was welcomed: Paris. The Marseillaise was accompanied by some images of the artist Ponesigne that with his pupils he creates a melody that floods the streets and the Eiffel Tower. They warm up for the imminent appointment of 2024.

Seiko Hashimoto, President of the Organizing Committee, had a few words of gratitude for the volunteers, the athletes … “The Tokyo 2020 Games, which overcame so many challenges, connect people, reactivate ties, contribute to world peace and further help forge an inclusive society where diversity can thrive, “he said. While Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee, started off with energy, saying:” Together we have done it. These Games are historical. And to the people of Japan say: Thank you, you have made it possible. When the Games were first postponed, few thought it would be possible to host the Games twelve months later. than planned. But the Paralympic Movement and the Paralympics are no strangers to achieving the impossible. Challenges are opportunities to do things differently, not a reason to give up. With unlimited stamina and commitment, we have witnessed great Paralympic Games. ” Louis Armstrong’s famous song, ‘What a wonderful world’ sounded, performed by different people with disabilities in one of the most emotional moments of the entire ceremony. Because yes, life is wonderful and the Games, the party of those who, faced with obstacles, decide to live it.

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