The 16th Summer Paralympics — officially the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games — wrapped up recently in the Japanese capital with five-time Paralympian Matt Scott of Detroit, winner of two consecutive gold medals in wheelchair basketball, carrying the U.S. flag during the closing ceremony.
The 13-day event, featuring the world’s most elite physically disabled athletes, had been postponed for a year, along with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, due to the global coronavirus pandemic. (See how many Olympians are from your state.)
This year, 163 countries participated in the games, the second-largest number in the event’s 61-year history (164 participated in 2012 in London). The Tokyo event also boasted the largest total number of athletes ever, at 4,537. By comparison, at the first Summer Paralympics in Rome in 1960, according to the International Paralympic Committee, only 400 athletes from 23 countries competed. (Historically, these have been the most successful countries at the Paralympic Games.)
Wheelchair basketball champ Scott took home one of 37 gold medals won by U.S. athletes this year, and in all, U.S. Paralympic athletes took home 107 medals, making America the fourth-biggest winner, after China (207), Great Britain (124), and the RPC, or Russian Paralympic Committee (118).