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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.

Highlights:

  • 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:

Go deeper

Updated Nov 19, 2021 - Sports

Fears grow for China's missing tennis star

Peng Shuai. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Serena Williams is the latest top athlete to speak out about Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai on Thursday, calling for an investigation into her disappearance amid concern for her safety.

Why it matters: Peng, 35, has not been seen in public since she accused China's former vice premier of sexual assault earlier this month. China's state-controlled media suppressed all reporting on the case.

Updated 16 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Swastikas found outside Union Station in D.C.

People walk through Union Station on Jan. 16 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Drawings of swastikas appeared etched around the entrance to Union Station in Washington, D.C., on Friday morning.

Driving the news: "An investigation is underway with Amtrak Police and the Metropolitan Police Department after swastikas were reported on the exterior of Washington Union Station on Friday," Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said in a statement to Axios.