The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games have ended with a moving ceremony at the Olympic Stadium.
The theme of the Closing Ceremony was “Harmonious Cacophony”, showing a variety of artists coming together in a chaotic nature to demonstrate their unique styles and rhythm.
During the ceremony International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons and Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto gave speeches before the official closing of the Games.
A key part of the ceremony was the handing over of the games to Paris. During the handover part of the ceremony Paris 2024 held an artistic segment which included a dance put together by Sadeck Waff, featuring a team of 128 performers – of which 15 per cent were disabled.
Hip-hop artist Pone mixed and composed a musical performance with just his eyes, showing the capabilities of disabled people.
During his performance, Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet and French Paralympic medallists celebrated at the “Lives des Jeux” site Trocadéro Gardens.
The Paralympics are an incredible show of perseverance and inspiration. Paralympians are all so talented, and they show that nothing can stop you if you try hard enough.
One such Para Athlete is Anastasia Pagonis. Anastasia is a blind 17-year old from America. She lost her sight when she was 14, as a result of an autoimmune disease, but that hasn’t stopped her. This year she qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics in Japan.
Anastasia is a swimmer, a good one too. Just the other day, on the 29 August, she won Gold in the S11 400-meter freestyle. She smashed the competition with a time of 4 minutes and 54.49 seconds – a full 10 seconds ahead of the second-fastest swimmer. That’s a new world record! She also achieved bronze in the 200 meter medley, and 4th in the 100m freestyle.
The whole way, Anastasia’s 2 million Tik Tok followers have been cheering her on. That’s right, on the social media platform Tik Tok, Anastasia—@anastasia_k_p on the app—has over 2 million followers! ( Me included! ) She posts frequently about her blindness and any questions her fans might have, as well as her Paralympic Journey. “I just want to teach people that this is blind, not just what you think is blind where you have to wear sunglasses and you can’t do anything,” she told Team USA. “This is blind.”
A couple of things I have learnt from Anastasia are, that you should always believe in yourself, and keep on trying even when the going gets tough. When Anastasia first lost her vision, she was extremely afraid of the water, and couldn’t even swim to the other side of the pool without crashing into a lane rope, or ending up in tears. But she persevered and look at her now! She is such a sweet, and inspiring person, and she hasn’t let her disability stop her from doing what she loves: making content.
Together with her guide dog Radar, she is entertaining millions and breaking world records! She is an inspiration to us all, and the only thing any para-athletes who need some encouragement need to do is scroll through her account.
Article Written by Isla Martin – Year 8 Aquinas College
The Black Caps have beaten Bangladesh by 52 runs in the third T20 international in Dhaka.
New Zealand won the toss and batted first, making 128 for five.
The top order all scored runs with Finn Allen making 15, Rachin Ravindra 20 and Will Young scoring 20. Henry Nicholls then batted well at the end to finish unbeaten on 36 and Tom Blundell unbeaten on 30.
In reply Bangladesh was bowled out for just 76 with Ajaz Patel taking four wickets and fellow spinner Cole McConchie three.
Patel was named man of the match.
After the game, captain Tom Latham said he was happy with the way his side responded after losing the first two games.
The All Blacks have beaten Australia 38-21 in their final game of the 2021 Bledisloe Cup series played in Perth.
The win means that New Zealand won the series 3-0. They also ensured a bonus point which will help them in the Rugby Championship table.
The All Blacks were dominate from the start, leading 18-0 at half-time, despite being reduced to 14 men for 20 minutes as Jordie Barrett was sent off.
However, under a new law being trialled in the Rugby Championship, a player who has received a red card can be replaced 20 minutes later. this mean that Damian McKenzie’s arrival brought New Zealand back up to 15 men.
The All Blacks victory is all the more impressive given regular captain Sam Whitelock and first-choice backs Richie Mo’unga and Aaron Smith all stayed in New Zealand for the birth of their children.
New Zealand are now top of the Rugby Championship table after two games and paly Argentina on 12 September.