2021 Tokyo Paralympics: Events and players to watch, TV channels, how to stream and more

·2 min read

The opening ceremony for the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics took place Tuesday in an empty National Stadium, just like the Olympic opening ceremony in July.

With a theme of "We Have Wings," the ceremony, kicked off by Japanese Emperor Naruhito featured acrobats, clowns, music and fireworks. The flags of 162 delegations, including the refugee group and Afghanistan, whose delegation is stuck in its home country, were carried into the stadium.

The Paralympics will take place without fans — though some school children may be allowed to attend against the advice of medical professionals — as Tokyo and the entire country of Japan face high COVID-19 case counts. There has already been one confirmed positive test from an athlete in the Paralympic village.

A record 4,403 Paralympians are competing in Tokyo. Cyclist Paige Greco of Australia was the first to win gold at these Games as she took first in the 3,000-race.

The Paralympic flame is passed between torchbearers during the opening ceremony for the Tokyo Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on Aug. 24.
The Paralympic flame is passed between torchbearers during the opening ceremony for the Tokyo Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on Aug. 24.

Here's everything you need to know for the Tokyo Paralympics:

Events and athletes to watch

United States swimmer Jessica Long has already racked up 23 Paralympics medals since making her debut in 2004. She won gold in the 400-meter freestyle through her first three Games, but took silver in 2016 behind Australia's Lakeisha Patterson. Long will be looking to return to the top of the medal stand when that event takes place on Aug. 31.

Tatyana McFadden is the "undisputed queen of track" according to Team USA, and for good reason. The 17-time Paralympic medalist placed in six different events in 2016, and she's looking to add more in Tokyo. One race to watch will be the Paralympic marathon, in which McFadden is seeking her first gold medal despite winning most of the world's Marathon Major races. That event, one of the last of the games, is Sept. 5.

Much like the Olympics, two sports will make their Paralympic debuts in Tokyo. Badminton and taekwondo will make their debuts, with taekwondo being the Games' first full-contact sport ever. Badminton starts on Sept.r 1, and taekwondo begins on Sept. 2.

TV Channels

The Paralympics will air live on NBCSN and the Olympic Channel. In addition to live coverage, NBC will air select Paralympic events on the weekends during these times:

All times are in Eastern Standard Time.

  • Sunday, Aug. 29: 12-1:30 p.m., 7-8 p.m.

  • Saturday, Sept. 4: 8-9 p.m.

  • Sunday, Sept. 5: 7-9 p.m.

  • Saturday, Sept. 11: 3-5 p.m.

  • Sunday, Sept. 12: 1:30-3 p.m.

How to live stream

Many of the events at the Paralympics can be streamed live on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app. The full schedule of live coverage can be found here.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Paralympics: What to watch, TV channels, streaming info