26 September 2023

Paralympians to inspire nation’s pride

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Australians have been called on to get behind the nation’s Paralympic sports men and women as they gear up for the 2020 Tokyo Games, which opens today (24 August).

Minister for Sport, Senator Richard Colbeck led the call, saying the Games represented another opportunity for Australians to unite and celebrate the individual efforts of athletes who had overcome extraordinary odds.

“Just like their Olympic counterparts, the Australian Paralympic team is a source of enormous pride and inspiration to us all,” Senator Colbeck said.

“The path to Tokyo has not been easy and our athletes have showed great determination and spirit to overcome the challenges of COVID-19 to compete on one of the biggest sporting stages in the world,” he said.

“We are all looking forward to watching these Paralympic Games and the pride of Australia will be on show for the whole world to see.”

Senator Colbeck said the team in Tokyo was Australia’s largest ever at an overseas Paralympic Games and the biggest since Sydney hosted the Games in 2000, with 179 athletes to compete across 18 sports, including the debut disciplines of Para- taekwondo and Para-badminton.

The Minister said the size and depth of talent within the team was a credit to the Australian high-performance sport sector.

“The success of our athletes very much depends on the team behind the team and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) must be commended for its leadership in assisting sports and athletes manage the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

“Over 85 per cent of athletes competing in Tokyo have received direct grants through the AIS.”

Senator Colbeck said people could show their support for the athletes on social media via @AUSParalympics across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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