The Paralympic Games had been set to begin on Tuesday, August 25th with the traditional opening ceremony followed by two weeks of intense competition coming to an end with the closing ceremony on September 6th. The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games have since been rescheduled to August 24th 2021 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, Paralympics Ireland will host 14 days of remote activity to mark the original dates of the Games commencing with an ‘Opening Ceremony’ featuring Paralympics Ireland President, John Fulham, Paralympic legend, Jason Smyth and Para Badminton hopeful Niall McVeigh live via Zoom.
Paralympics Ireland will also be amongst the first to use the Netflix Party technology as the organisation will host a watch party for the new official Netflix documentary about the Paralympic Games, ‘Rising Phoenix’ which premieres on the streaming service on August 26th. Each day will see a different sports focus with a panel of athletes and experts discussing everything from Para Athletics, Para Swimming, Para Cycling, High Performance to Commercial partnerships.
Social Media will play a major role throughout the fortnight of activity with athletes including Para Equestrian athlete Michael Murphy, Para Cyclist Eve McCrystal and Para Archer Kerrie Leonard amongst the stars that will take over the official Paralympics Ireland Instagram page. The entire campaign will run in conjunction with, and in support of, the International Paralympic Committee’s #WaitfortheGreats campaign.
Like all sporting organisations, Paralympics Ireland has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. To help alleviate the financial effects of the virus, Paralympics Ireland will also launch a social media fundraising campaign as part of the One Year to Go campaign where the public will be able to donate money to help our Para Athletes prepare for and compete at the Games. This campaign will be launched initially using the official Paralympics Ireland Facebook and Instagram pages.
Speaking about the One Year to Go #WaitfortheGreats campaign Paralympics Ireland CEO, Miriam Malone said ‘We are delighted to launch a two week awareness campaign to mark what would have been the dates for the Paralympic Games. Although the games have been postponed until next year, we feel it is important to celebrate the Paralympic Movement and especially our Irish Paralympians. We have an ambitious fortnight of activity planned that will highlight many Irish Paralympic sports and will see the focus fall on our athletes that have worked so hard. We will also launch Phase One of our fundraising campaign which is a new departure for Paralympics Ireland. Although the Games have changed, our ambitions for success have not and with the help of the public, along with the support of our brilliant commercial partners, our funders in Sport Ireland and the Government, I believe we can deliver something really special in Tokyo in one year.’