Everything you've always wanted to know about the Paralympics (but were afraid to ask)

Everything you’ve always wanted to know about the Paralympics (but were afraid to ask)


The year of the first Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo as well. A special edition, because it was the first time the word “paralympy” was used. Prior to this, the event was known as the Stoke Mandeville Games, named after the English city of Stoke Mandeville, which hosted the first shooting tournament for 16 disabled veterans in 1948. The “Paralympic Games” became a nickname in 1964 for the five-time tournament. days, in which 380 athletes participated in nine sports.

The Paralympic Games finally became the official name in 1989, along with the creation of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). The Paralympic Games are a mixture of “para” (parallel) and Olympic. In this way it was made clear that the Olympic and Paralympic Games coexist.


The sum of the agitos, the three arcs that together form the emblem of the Paralympic Games. The logo consists of red, blue and green, referring to the most common colors in the flags of countries around the world. Agito in Latin means “I move”.

agitos do not have a long history. The first Paralympic symbol from 1988, like the Olympic logo, consisted of five different characters, but that was changed to three symbols six years later. The current agitos has been in use since 2004, for the first time during the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games in Athens. In 2019, the color has changed a little: red, blue and green have become much brighter.

Getzy PlateAvroTros . picture

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The number of medal chances for Jetze Plat, the most famous Dutch Paralympic player in these games. Flat, 30, is a manual motorcycle rider but also specializes in triathlon. He participates in manual cycling in both road racing and time trials, and also wants to ‘pop for an hour’ in a triathlon, where he swims, then continues on a handbike (a modified recumbent bike) to ride his race-specific wheelchair (wheel).) Till the end. The flat is nearly unbeatable across the board and also the Paralympic Triathlon Champion.

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If anyone can become the queen of the games, it’s Sanne Voets who wants to win three gold medals with her horse Demantur. She’s also won just about everything in recent years. Especially for games, she had a horse trough with fireplaces that were heated in the house, in order to get used to the temperature in Japan with her horse.

Environmental Protection Agency (True Foot Image)

Sunny FootEnvironmental Protection Agency’s photo


The number of athletes participating in the Paralympic Games this year from a record number of countries reached: 167. Initially, athletes from 168 countries were supposed to participate, but due to the situation in Afghanistan, two Afghan athletes could not leave Kabul.

The athletes present represent one or more of the 540 parts in 22 sports. Taekwondo and badminton first appeared at the Paralympic Games. Two sports are played exclusively at the Paralympics: boccia, similar to pétanque, and goalball, a ball sport in which visually impaired athletes throw a ball with a sound past their opponents.

Flor's little figurine Olaf Krak

Flor JongStatue of Olaf Crack


Number of athletes playing for the Netherlands in Tokyo. This is down from the 126 athletes who were present in Rio and set a record for the Netherlands with 63 medals. Of the fourteen athletes who subsequently won seventeen golds, twelve have returned to Tokyo. Just Marlowe Van Rhine (Babe Blade) and wheelchair tennis player Jeske Griffin retired. And their successors are already ready, because Fleur Jung and Didi de Groot are big contenders for gold.


The number of workers in the Ottobock workshop – specialists in medical devices, where all wheelchairs, prosthetics and blades can be repaired. Every now and then there’s a piece of a discarded prosthetic leg in the trash. Every day the workers, who “speak 22 languages”, make about two hundred repairs.

Chef Esther Verger poses for a selfie in Schiphol before leaving for Tokyo.  ANP . image

Chef Esther Verger poses for a selfie in Schiphol before leaving for Tokyo.ANP . image


The 100 meters in athletics and the 100 meters in the swimming pool are traditionally the key figures for the respective sports. And at the Paralympics, there is a chance for Dutch success. In athletics, the nominees are Fleur Young, Marlene van Ganswinkel and Kimberly Alkmadi. They finished in the last real measuring moment for the Games, the European Championships in Poland in June, with numbers one, two and four. Young ran a world record: 12.64 seconds. They start in the T62/T64 class, for athletes with a single or double leg amputation.

In swimming, Chantal Zederfeld and Lisa Krueger have been each other’s biggest competitors for years, especially in the 100m breaststroke. Cool, because they are both only twenty years old. Krueger is the Paralympic breaststroke champion. She became so a few days after her sixteenth birthday.


An abbreviation of the Para Double Oars, the rowing boat in which Corne de Kooning and Annika van der Meer sit together. They are heading for a medal in Tokyo, which they consider a realistic goal.

As difficult as the name may sound, the labels in blasphemy are pretty straightforward. There are three categories, broken down based on how effective the stroke is. De Koning and Van der Meer are walking around in second row (PR2), where they can’t do the movement with their legs.


There is no back number, but the maximum number of points you might be on the field during a wheelchair basketball game, divided by five athletes. This is also the classification method. A person with relatively few restrictions gets a large number of points: 4.5 is the maximum. The higher the disability, the lower the number: to one.

The Dutch women’s basketball team, a favorite in Tokyo, is working with pairs, so counting is easier. Jitske Visser (1) with Bo Kramer (4,5).

Lisette Bruinsma Build Olaf Crack

Lizette BruinsmaStatue of Olaf Crack


One last explanation of the rating system, this time in swimming. This is also the final explanation for the rating system, this time while swimming. Here, too, the rule is: the lower the number, the greater the disability. The letter S stands for free-swimming, butterfly or backswing, while the number 10 stands for “minimal disability” such as amputation of a foot or lost hand function. In this chapter Zijderveld and Kruger swim.

Class S11, in which favorite Liesette Bruinsma swims, for example, is for the blind. In competitions, they wear blind swimming goggles and tell with a flick of their head that they are on the other side of the pool. Holland has a special trick for this. For Bruinsma, who eventually became completely blind after she was 12, a pump was built that would produce bubbles, so she would notice she had to turn.

which matches when

Every day there are medal chances for the Netherlands. Here are some of the main highlights.

August 26 There are opportunities in the pool, in the 100m breaststroke, for Chantal Zederfeld and Lisa Krueger. Finals start at 10:00 am. Sunny Votes is also a gold medal contender in her singles freestyle (8:00 AM).

August 28 The focus is on the long jump, where Fleur Jung and Marlene van Ganswinkel have a serious chance. Jung tightened the world record to 6.04 meters in June. The final starts at 02:30.

also on August 2811:30 PM Dutch time: The start of the Jetze Plats’ quest for three gold medals, starting with the triathlon.

August 31 An important paragliding day, the Netherlands has a chance to win at least five gold medals in the time trials that will all take place on that day.

September 3 Is the final of wheelchair tennis, with great chances for the medal for Didi de Groot (5:00). The 100m will also be run in athletics, again with Jong and Van Gansewinkel.

NOS broadcasts matches via four live streams. In the evening, after the eight in the evening bulletin, there is a summary on TV.

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