How To Watch The Tokyo Paralympics – And How Not To, Please

“I love the Paralympics but this time round they need to be more than just a feel-good story.” Sophie Christiansen CBE is a British dressage rider who has competed in four successive Paralympic Games. Already an eight-times gold champion, she hopes to up that medal tally at this year’s games in Japan.

Post-Olympics, the Paralympics light up Tokyo again this week, starting with Tuesday’s opening ceremony. But something about this year’s games feels different. After all, the games, which celebrate the sporting achievements of disabled people, and have been held every four years since Rome in 1960, are taking place a year later than planned due to (and during) a global pandemic. One in which disabled and vulnerable people are among those most affected.

Christiansen is leading a campaign with Scope and the British Paralympic Association with a rallying call to turn cheers into change. “I want to use them as a platform to show the reality of living as a disabled person in the UK,” she says.

This is because, like so many others in the disabled community, she’s concerned interest in the Paralympics does not translate into support for disabled people.

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