Tokyo Paralympics 2020: New Zealand to skip opening ceremony over COVID-19 fears – New Zealand’s Paralympic team will not be attending the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic opening ceremony over COVID-19 safety fears.
According to a report in AFP, the New Zealand Paralympics team will not be participating in the ceremony that will be held on Tuesday evening. Two flag bearers lead the team during the Olympic ceremony.
“Our team will not be attending as we continue our commitment to our COVID-19 Operating Principles and Guidelines, aimed at keeping our team as safe as possible,” New Zealand Paralympic team said in a statement.
International Paralympic Committee spokesman Craig Spence said that they respect the decision made by the New Zealand team.
“We’ve got to respect the decision,” he said, adding that team chief Fiona Allan had told him that despite strict virus countermeasures, they wanted to be “super safe”.
Meanwhile, Javelin thrower Tek Chand has been named as India’s flag-bearer at the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony after Mariyappan Thangavelu was quarantined following close contact with a COVID-19 positive person during their flight to Tokyo.
Mariyappan, a Rio 2016 Gold medal winner, was the flag bearer for India. However, he and five others of the Indian contingent were quarantined until further notice, as someone near their seats on the flight to Tokyo tested positive for COVID-19.