Aug 30, 2021 - Sports

The major highlights from Week 1 of the Paralympics

Nick Mayhugh

Nick Mayhugh. Photo: Moto Yoshimura/Getty Images

The 2020 Paralympics are halfway complete, with 4,403 athletes β€” including a record 1,853 women β€” putting on a show last week in Tokyo. Here are some of the Games' top stories:

  • πŸ₯‡ Medal count: China has by far the most medals (119), followed by Great Britain (65), the Russian Paralympic Committee (59), Ukraine (50) and the U.S. (48). Full medal table.
  • πŸ‡¦πŸ‡« Afghanistan arrives: After being trapped in their home country with airports closed, both Afghan Paralympians have miraculously made their way to Tokyo in time to compete.
  • ⭐️ All-time legends: British cyclist Dame Sarah Storey and American swimmer Jessica Long are moving ever higher up the ranks of their nation's greatest Paralympians.
  • πŸŽ“ NCAA at the Games: 62 current and former NCAA athletes, representing 64 schools, are competing in Tokyo. Cal State Northridge leads the way with three.


  • πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Captain America: Sprinter Nick Mayhugh became the first T37 athlete (coordination impairments) to break 11 seconds in the 100 meters β€” and he did it twice in one day.
  • 🩱 Teenage stars: 17-year-old visually-impaired American swimmers Anastasia Pagonis (400 free) and Gia Pergolini (100 back) both won gold and set world records in their first events.
  • πŸ’ͺ🏼 Never give up: Team USA's Daniel Romanchuk (wheelchair 400), and Kendall Gretsch (women's wheelchair triathlon), and Japan's Tomoki Sato (wheelchair 400) completed epic comebacks to win gold.
  • πŸ“ See it to believe it: Egypt's Ibrahim Hamadtou didn't medal, but the 48-year-old table tennis player β€” who doesn't have arms β€” stole the show nonetheless.

πŸ“† Coming up: 17 of the 23 disciplines still have medals up for grabs, with equestrian and powerlifting concluding today. The other 15 remaining events:

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