Paralympic Agitos Odaiba
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Survey: Tokyo Paralympics were important in efforts to end the stigma against disability

Our recent online poll gave us an insight into attitudes to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games around the world

Kaila Imada
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Kaila Imada
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After a two-month run of sporting events, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games have officially come to a close. Previously, we asked to hear your thoughts on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and recently opened another quick survey asking you, our readers, about the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

From the heartwarming sporting events to the inspiring opening and closing ceremonies, we wanted to know what resonated most with you and what you think the legacy of these unprecedented Games will be. 

After compiling close to 100 responses from our readers, here’s what the survey reveals.

A bar chart showing survey responses to the question "How did you feel about the Tokyo Paralympics?"
Infographic: Zineb Bektachi

Overall, people thought the Paralympics were an important event to raise awareness 

The results of the survey showed that a majority of people thought that the Games were an important event to help build awareness and end the stigma against disability. 

However, the overall response to the Games from people in Japan was not as positive as those living elsewhere – 41 percent of respondents in Japan also thought that the Games should have been postponed again or cancelled altogether, compared to only 2 percent of overseas readers. On the flip side, 71 percent of people outside of Japan thought that the Games were an uplifting event that brought the world together during the pandemic and 53 percent of Japan-based respondents agreed.

Paralympic infographic
Infographic: Zineb Bektachi

Tokyo did its best in hosting the Games despite the pandemic

However, when asked how the Paralympics went overall, nearly half of all respondents said Tokyo did its best, given the pandemic (46.8 percent). 

Paralympic infographic
Infographic: Zineb Bektachi
Paralympic infographic
Infographic: Zineb Bektachi

Most people watched the Paralympics even though it didn’t get as much coverage 

The results show that 72.9 percent of respondents watched the Paralympics to some extent, either watching it every day (40.6 percent) or just catching some events (32.3 percent). 

However, a noticeable number of people from around the world added that there was not enough TV or online coverage of the Paralympics compared to that of the Olympics.

A bar chart showing survey responses to the question "What were your favourite moments of the Paralympic Games?"
Infographic: Zineb Bektachi

The athletes’ achievements were the main highlight

When asked about favourite moments from the Games, the athletes' achievements were the standout moments for the majority (64 percent), followed by the sporting events themselves (56 percent) and the opening and closing ceremonies (32 percent). 

A bar chart showing survey responses to the question "What do you think of the opening and closing ceremonies?"
Infographic: Zineb Bektachi
A bar chart showing survey responses to the question "What do you think will be the legacy of the Tokyo 2020 Games?"
Infographic: Zineb Bektachi

The legacy of the Tokyo 2020 Games will be positive overall

When asked what they thought would be the legacy of the Tokyo 2020 Games, 54 percent of people said the Games showed that determination and the human spirit can overcome any hardships that may come our way – the Paralympics had plenty of heartwarming moments to prove it. Meanwhile, 50 percent of respondents felt the Games were an uplifting event during the pandemic, and 46 percent also thought the Games showed that Tokyo and Japan should host more international events. 

A bar chart showing survey responses to the question "What would you like to see Japan improve on after the Tokyo 2020 Games?"
Infographic: Zineb Bektachi

People would like to see Japan become more accessible and diverse in the future

Japan can take away some important lessons from hosting the world’s largest sporting event. When asked how Japan could improve in the future, 50 percent of people said Japan needs to create more barrier-free facilities and become more accessible. Promoting and encouraging diversity in Japan was equally important (50 percent). 

While Japan has been making headway on sustainability, 46 percent of respondents thought the country could still do more work towards becoming eco-friendly. Additionally, people wanted more international language support across the country (40 percent). 

And as travel restrictions are slowly easing in Japan, it’s no surprise that 34 percent of people can't wait for the borders to reopen to tourists. 

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