Tokyo 2020 Announces Concepts of Paralympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies

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Tokyo, 21 August 2021 – The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) is pleased to announce the concepts of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. As announced in July, the overall concept behind these ceremonies is “Moving Forward”.

Concept of Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony: “We Have Wings”

Concept of Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony: “Harmonious Cacophony”

Tokyo 2020 is also pleased to announce the results of our call for public participation in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremony performances, which we issued in December 2019.

A total of 5,550 people across the country, from Okinawa to Hokkaido and from the age of five to those in their seventies, applied. The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee would like to express its heartfelt gratitude to all those who applied for the opportunity to make a unique and personal expression, to show that they have recovered from injury, to shine on stage regardless of any impairments and to raise awareness of these.

In light of the postponement of the Games, the review and simplification of the content of the ceremonies, and COVID-19 countermeasures, the number of participants has been reduced from that originally planned. In the end, however, a total of 161 people will participate as performers in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and contribute to their success.

Just three days remain until the start of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The Organising Committee, together with all of the participating performers, will continue to prepare for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, helping to ensure they will be memorable occasions for everyone around the world who will be watching.

Concept of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony

“We Have Wings”

In life, we don’t always have the wind at our backs.

Sometimes, we try to move forward but cannot get far. We can’t see where we’re going or make sense of our surroundings. We stop in our tracks and withdraw into ourselves. We all know what it’s like to face headwinds.

But Paralympic athletes know that no matter which way the wind blows, its power can be harnessed to move forward. They know that by being brave and spreading their wings, they can reach extraordinary heights.

And now, the Paralympic Games will finally begin. The world will watch as athletes put on incredible performances over the coming weeks. And as we watch, we may discover that we too have wings.

Concept of Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony

“Harmonious Cacophony”

A world inspired by the Paralympics, one where differences shine.

In this world, diverse bodies, unique technologies, and different materials all come together as a harmonious and colourful whole, not as a single blended colour, but each one shining as they are.

What seems at first like the start of a cacophony is actually the birth of a new harmony. Because differences do not create conflict, but give rise to a new future.

Call for entries for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies

Applicants: 5,550 people in total

Breakdown by category

• Lead cast: 798 people

• Original cast and mass cast combined: 1,195 groups, 4,752 people* 3 / 3


Total: 161 people (including 75 for the Opening Ceremony and 89 people for the Closing Ceremony, three of whom will participate in both ceremonies). The youngest is 11 years old and the oldest is 68 years old..

Breakdown by category

• Lead cast: 1 person

• Original cast: 160 people*

*We initially called for two separate categories: the “original cast”, for performances that make the most of the individuality and special skills of individuals and groups, and the “mass cast”, for group dance performances, but following a review of the content due to the postponement of the Games, we have combined the applicants for the two categories into one “original cast”. The 160 original cast members include those who requested to perform on video rather than in person; this reflects our wish to have as many people as possible participate in these ceremonies despite the Games being held against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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