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The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will make further efforts to engage with what it claims is unprecedented local interest in the Paralympic Games by launching its first Paralympic Museum later this year in Tokyo.
Housed at Coredo Muromachi Terrace in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, and sponsored by Japanese real estate company Mitsui Fudosan, the Museum will operate from August 25 to late September, seeking to showcase the history and growth of the Paralympic Movement.
Visitors to the museum will have the opportunity to learn more about the history of the Paralympic Movement. With exhibitions dedicated to many Para sports, including those that featured at Rome’s first Paralympics in 1960, the museum will also seek to inspire with stories of athletes whose performances have helped to transform global attitudes towards people with disabilities.
The Paralympic Museum will be located at the Mitsui Fudosan-developed Coredo Muromachi Terrace in Nihonbashi. Throughout the Paralympic Games, the neighbourhood will also be decorated with vibrant and dynamic images of Paralympic athletes.
Record ticket demand
Tokyo will become the first city to host the Paralympics on two occasions, when this year’s Games take place from August 25 to September 6. The IPC has high hopes for Tokyo 2020, which it believes will be the first Paralympics to sell out ahead of the opening ceremony.
In his New Year’s message, IPC president Andrew Parsons highlighted the “mind-blowing” demand for Paralympic tickets in Japan. In December, Parsons stated organisers had received “unprecedented” demand for tickets, adding that applications already surpassed the record number sold for London 2012’s Paralympics.
London 2012 sold 2.7 million tickets, but Parsons said Tokyo 2020 had received 3.1 million applications for the 2.3 million tickets available, with an initial 600,000 allocated during the first lottery process. The second Paralympic ticket lottery for Japanese fans ran from January 15-29.
Tokyo 2020 also used this month’s 200-day countdown to the Games to unveil details of the Flame Festivals. They will be held between August 13-17 in 43 of Japan’s 47 prefectures and from August 18-21 in the four prefectures co-hosting Paralympic events during the Paralympic Torch Relay.
Each Flame Festival will incorporate a lighting ceremony, a departure ceremony, visits of the Flame to local sightseeing spots and, in the four prefectures hosting events, a torch relay. Flame Festivals will be held in historic locations and local community spots such as the Peace Memorial Park in Okinawa, M-WAVE in Nagano and Yokohama’s famous red brick warehouse district.
The flames from each prefecture and a flame that will be lit at a Heritage Flame lighting event in Stoke Mandeville, England, the spiritual birthplace of the Paralympic Movement, will subsequently be brought together and become a single Paralympic Flame at a ceremony in Tokyo on August 21. The Flame will then tour the Japanese capital during the climax of the Paralympic Torch Relay from August 22-25.
Commenting on the Paralympic Museum venture, Parsons said: “As the Paralympic Games continue to grow in size and scale, it is vital that we chart the history of just how far the Paralympic Movement has come in a relatively short space of time.
“The Paralympic Museum will inform and excite visitors with stories and exhibitions of how the Movement has evolved from an event for 16 injured war veterans in 1948 to the world’s third-biggest sporting event in 2020. It is a remarkable history of how one man’s vision has helped transform global society, empowering and enriching the lives of millions of people around the world.
“We are confident the museum will be a must-see attraction this August and September in Tokyo, generating greater enthusiasm, excitement and interest in the Paralympic Games and Paralympic Movement.”