3 Activities to Celebrate the Paralympic Games
Some sports broadcasts stick with us long after the referees declare a winner. We remember what snack we were munching on and who was sitting next to us when we witnessed greatness. Do you recall watching Simone Biles become the first woman to land a Yurchenko double pike on the vault? Or perhaps you still know where you were when you saw Michael Jordan defy gravity (while flu-stricken) in game five of the 1997 NBA Finals? No matter the category, certain sports highlights have the power to secure a permanent place in our memory banks.
But what about the equally talented and often under-seen para-athletes?
The Tokyo Paralympic Games Make History
Fortunately, this year, the Tokyo Paralympic Games allowed audiences across the globe to witness elite athletes with disabilities compete in 22 different sports. For young girls with a disability, this year’s Paralympic Games may have been the first time they saw someone like themselves on an international stage, achieving their goals and chasing their dreams. With nearly 100 nations participating in 2021, the Paralympics not only transcended disability, but geography, gender and race.
The 2021 Tokyo Paralympics, in particular, was a critical moment for female athletes throughout the country as for the first time in history, the U.S. Paralympic team included more women (121) than men (113) and won more than sixty percent of all U.S. medals.
Audiences Tuned in for Para-athlete Greatness
The world proved they were ready to press pause on their regularly scheduled television programs to watch these amazing athletes compete. NBCUniversal reported that their coverage generated multiple viewership milestones, including airing the two most-watched Paralympics Games telecasts on record in the U.S.
If you were one of the millions of viewers who sat down to witness the event, we encourage you and your girl to also check out Netflix’s uplifting and informative Rising Phoenix documentary. At the start of Rising Phoenix, the film likens Paralympic athletes to The Avengers. They are like superheroes, many of whom have incredible and inspiring origin stories. Based on what we saw from superstars Oksana Masters and Jessica Long at the 2021 Games, we could not think of a better comparison.
Keep the Momentum of the Paralympic Games Going
Here are some inclusive Paralympic-themed activities courtesy of Dare2tri to try at home with your girl.
Paralympic Torch Coloring Sheet
Girls on the Run would like to thank Dare2tri for their collaboration on these heart-pumping activities.
Together with our partners at the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD), we celebrate Global Diversity Awareness Month. For the rest of the month, we will continue highlighting how we can empower girls with disabilities in their journeys, celebrate what makes all girls unique and share how Girls on the Run programming can benefit everyone in the long term.
Parents interested in receiving additional information should visit the Girls on the Run parent resources webpage.