Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 Overview
For the first time in 57 years, the city of Tokyo welcomed athletes from across the world to participate in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. One year and one day after its original scheduled date, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad kicked off July 23 and ran through Aug. 8, 2021. During this time, more than 11,000 athletes from 206 nations gathered to compete across the region. Several new sports were added to the Olympic schedule, including softball, which made its return to the Olympic Games for the first time since 2008. Three-on-three basketball also made its Olympic debut, where the U.S. women's team earned the first-ever gold in the sport, while the women’s water polo team captured its third-consecutive Olympic gold medal.
Shortly following the Olympic Games, Japan welcomed 4,400 athletes from around the world to participate in the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. The Paralympic Games began Aug. 24 and ran through Sept. 5, 2021. Following a strong Paralympic performance in 2016, the U.S. expected to once again showcase a highly competitive team in Tokyo. The 2020 U.S. Paralympic Team was comprised of 240 athletes – many of whom competed collegiately. Returning for her sixth Paralympic appearance was wheelchair racer Tatyana McFadden (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), who earned four medals in Tokyo, bringing her total haul to 20 medals across both the summer and winter Games. Meanwhile, the men's wheelchair basketball team defended its gold medal from Rio.
"College pushed my boundaries of who I thought I was, as well as who I wanted to be."
Jessica Heims, University of Northern Iowa