Portugal's Paralympic mission is already in Tokyo to "warm-up" to the competition taking place between August 24 and September 5 in the Japanese capital. In total, 33 Portuguese athletes will participate in eight different sports: swimming, athletics, cycling, judo, equestrian, boccia, canoeing, and badminton. Tokyo is the first city to host these games twice, after the first in 1964. The Paralympic Games are the third-largest sports event in the world, after the Olympics and the World Cup.
Portugal got four medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020, the best of all times participation for the country. It is a real achievement for a small country, even more given the pandemic, the ensuing crisis, and the reduced public budget allocated to sports education.
Since March 2020, no fan in Portugal could support his favourite team in the stadium: a wait of almost a year and a half, motivated by the pandemic, is now over, with great joy and relief from the sports community and society in general.
During the world's largest and most important sporting competition, the Olympic Games, the scientific journal The Lancet published a few studies on the importance of physical activity and the public health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle, aggravated by the covid-19 pandemic that led to the confinement of millions of people about a year and a half ago.
João Paulo Félix, an athlete and sociologist, is a 50-year-old marathon runner who has covered many kilometres throughout his life. He ran many for social causes, such as Autism or Multiple Sclerosis. His proposal this summer: run across all of Portugal for 40 consecutive days, under high temperatures, to raise awareness for children’s rights.
With Telma Monteiro and Nelson Évora as Portugal's standard-bearers at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, taking place from July 23 to August 8, 2021, the Portuguese delegation will be arriving at the grand opening day filled with talent and hope.