The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games start on August 24th, 2021, and if the 2021 Olympics were any indication of what’s to come, we’re in for more inspiring moments in global sport. This marks the 16th annual Summer Paralympics, and a grand total of 540 events in 22 sports are taking place.
The sports included as part of the games include cycling, rowing, judo, badminton, wheelchair tennis and many more, and the athletes that are set to compete have all worked tirelessly for years to make it to this moment. Over 4,000 athletes are competing in the Tokyo Paralympics 2021 this year, so you’ll have plenty of people to cheer on as you tune into the games.
5 Athletes to Root for at the Tokyo Paralympics 2021
Here are five outstanding athletes to cheer on at the Tokyo Paralympics 2021 from August 24th to September 5th:
1. Markus Rehm
German athlete Markus Rehm has been dominating the men’s long jump event for over a decade now. He won gold at the 2013 world championships in Lyon and set a long jump T44 world record in 2014 at the German national championships, which he broke later in 2015 in Spain and Qatar, and again in Italy, Rio and London. Dubbed “the Blade Jumper,” Rehm is sure to jump into more accolades at the Tokyo Paralympics 2021.
2. Carol Cooke
Australian cyclist Carol Cooke won a gold medal in London and two in Rio. At the age of 60, Cooke is proving age really is just a number, and people can achieve remarkable feats of strength and bravery at any stage of life.
3. Lucy Ejike
Powerlifter Lucy Ejike has represented Nigeria at the Paralympics five times since Sydney 2000, and she’s gearing up for a sixth round this summer in Tokyo. So far, she’s won three gold medals and two silver medals, and the 43-year-old isn’t showing any signs of slowing down soon.
4. Lia Coryell
U.S. army veteran, author, speaker and Paralympian on the U.S. archery team, Lia Coryell is truly a force to be reckoned with. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in her early twenties, but she hasn’t let the condition slow her down: over the years, she’s completed four degrees, raised two children as a single mom, and competed as a Paralympian representing the U.S. in archery at Rio 2016. This talented firecracker is one to watch at the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics 2021.
5. Joe Delagrave
Keynote speaker and Paralympic wheelchair rugby player Joe Delagrave won bronze at the 2012 Paralympics and has been a captain in wheelchair rugby a total of eight times. After sustaining a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed at the age of 19, Delagrave found his passion and purpose by educating, encouraging and helping others. His story is an inspiring reminder to focus on what truly matters in life and make empowering choices every day despite the challenges you may face.