International Paralympic Committee (IPC) spokesman Craig Spence lauded the immediate impact of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games during a joint press conference with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee at the Main Press Centre on Friday.
The IPC’s chief brand and communications officer shared some eye-catching statistics as the global governing body for the Paralympic Movement have already been analyzing the early uptake to the second Paralympics to emanate from Japan.
Speaking on day three of the Paralympics, Spence provided notable figures for broadcasting and digital media.
“In terms of IPC digital figures, probably by lunchtime today we would have had more visitors on our website, Paralympic.org, in two and a half days than we did during the whole of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. So tremendous digital figures and we’ve also seen stunning engagement on TikTok and some of our other platforms.
“Channel 7 in Australia announced that the Opening Ceremony in Australia was watched by the biggest audience ever in terms of Paralympic coverage, beating the previous record set in Beijing (2008) by a whopping 42%.”
Spence discussed the role the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics can play in changing perceptions of those with disabilities in Japan and how previous Games had left a lasting legacy in the host nations.
“There are many (Paralympic) athletes in many countries who have jobs, and that’s what we want to create here in Japan.
“You [addressing a journalist] said that not many persons with disabilities in Japan have professional jobs. Let’s hope the Games change that. That’s what we do. In London, one million more persons with disabilities are now in employment in Great Britain than before the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
“If it’s not common for persons with disabilities to get professional jobs, then we hope that’s one of the legacies of these Games.”
Spence’s Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee counterpart Masa Takaya detailed some figures of his own as he provided the latest information on the Covid-19 situation at the Paralympic Games.
“Since the beginning of July up to 25 August, there were more than 53,000 airport tests conducted, and of those there were 53 positive cases. So the positivity rate is 0.01%.
“The number of screening tests now exceeds 800,000 in the same period, with 252 positive cases, which means the positivity rate is 0.03%.
“On daily confirmed cases, there were 12 cases among those resident in Japan and one case among those non-resident in Japan,” added the Tokyo 2020 spokesman.
The foreign participant, who has not been named, is not in a severe situation but remains in hospital Takaya told the media.
“He is in hospital. The person is not in a severe situation but this Games-concerned person is still in hospital.”
While fans cannot attend events at the Paralympics, as per the same restrictions as the Olympics, Tokyo 2020 has opened a Fan Park and Fan Arena in Aomi which is open exclusively to residents of Tokyo.
The Fan Park, on the West side of Aomi district Central Park, is a five minute walk from Tokyo Teleport station while the Fan Arena, at the Tokyo Big Sight Aomi exhibition hall is also accessible from the same station.
Tokyo 2020′s official fan site has an official shop, live sports broadcasts and offers sports experiences while prioritizing visits from elementary and junior high school students with the goal of providing educational opportunities for the younger generation.
The Agitos symbol, the signature of the Paralympic Games, is also on show and the site will be open until the Paralympics concludes on Sept. 5.
Pre-registration is required and can be made at https://fanpark-arena.tokyo2020.org/top.html
“The general public can access the two fan parks using a pre-booking system,” said Takaya.
“We have a cap of 1,000 people (at a time) and there are five time slots in each fan park each day, so 10,000 people is the maximum number each day.
“The reason of accommodating these fan parks despite the fact that there are no spectators at venues is because we feel there is a great significance in terms of education, particularly for younger generations. We want them to experience what Para sports are, and we have sports initiation programs on site.”