OREANDA-NEWS  In Tokyo, the ceremony began at eight o'clock in the evening - fireworks over the Olympic stadium were visible throughout the city. Almost five thousand athletes took part in the procession who will compete in 22 sports. The British flag was carried by 26-year-old swimmer Amy Simmonds and 56-year-old archer John Stubbs, the oldest member of the British Paralympic team. 

A few hours before the opening, the Olympic torch relay ended in Eyegi Park in Tokyo. Due to the explosive increase in Covid-19 infections, the torch was not carried through the streets of Tokyo. However, this is the same Olympic flame - from a small lamp the fire was passed to the first three torchbearers, after which it was transmitted from one runner to another with the help of a "kiss of torches". 

This year, the program of the games includes two new disciplines - badminton and taekwondo. Sailing and football 7x7 for people with cerebral palsy were excluded from the program. 

Japanese authorities hope that the Paralympics will make society more inclusive. Tokyo became the first city in history to host the second Paralympic Games. The first were held in 1964, and it was then that the term "Paralympics" was coined. They were attended by 375 athletes competing in nine disciplines. This year, 4400 athletes have already come to Tokyo, who compete in 22 sports.