Tokyo Paralympics kick off

NHK -- Aug 25
The Tokyo Paralympics kicked off on Tuesday night. For nearly the next two weeks, athletes from around the world will compete in hundreds of events.

The opening ceremony started with dancers carrying red, blue and green balloons in the shape of the Paralympic symbol. The symbol reflects the Paralympic motto, "Spirit in Motion." It is meant to represent the strong will of every Paralympian.

A record number of 4,400 athletes from over 160 countries and territories will compete.

At the head of the athletes' parade was a team made up of refugees.

The Afghanistan team had to withdraw, so instead a volunteer marched with the nation's flag.

Emperor Naruhito declared the Games officially open, after which the Paralympic cauldron was lit.

Three Japanese athletes, including wheelchair tennis player Kamiji Yui, were the final torch bearers.

The Games will run through September 5.

The host city remains under a state of emergency, as the Japanese government tries to address worst outbreak yet. - NHK