Tokyo Olympics 2021: The Major Differences Between Olympics and Paralympics in Swimming

Published 07/02/2021, 10:47 AM EDT

The Tokyo Olympics 2021 is one of the most expected events in the entire world. We divide them into two parts- the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics.


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In addition, the International Olympic Committee sets up Paralympics for athletes with different ranges of abilities. Since 1960, the Olympics and Paralympics go hand in hand every 4 years.

The first Paralympic Games happened in Rome, and they continue that tradition every year. Winter Paralympics is also scheduled for athletes to showcase their talents out in the world as well. But what are the major differences between these two events?


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Differences between Olympics and Paralympics

The key focus will be the major differences in swimming competitions in both these events. The obvious takeaway will be the start of the race. The swimmers in Olympics get on their blocks, and jump into the pool with the sound of the whistle.

On the other hand, athletes who compete in Paralympics are assisted on the blocks or start the race inside the pool. Coaches or assistants help the competitors avoid early starts or disqualifications.

It is also noticeable that the coaches or assistants cannot talk to the athletes before the competitions. It ensures healthy competition between competitors and calls for no foul play leading to the event.

A unique moment is the number of pets present near the athletes. A lot of athletes have guide dogs who help them lead their way, and this adds to the glamor of the event all together.

Miraitowa (L) and Someity (R) are the official mascots of the 2020 Summer Olympics, and 2020 Summer Paralympics respectively.

But Olympics have different rules altogether. The swimmers come independently and are on their own at the start of games. Another major point to put forward is the crowd that is in attendance.

The Rio Paralympics drew enormous crowds into the stands as it made their day for most of the athletes. Almost 1,86,3000 tickets were sold in Rio Olympics, which was the second-highest after London.

The support from fans creates an enormous difference in the lives of these athletes. Truly commendable.


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The much-awaited Tokyo Olympics 2021 and Paralympics

Another key takeaway in the Olympics is the rings. The rings symbolized the five continents- Europe, Asia, Americas, Africa, and Oceania.

However, the Olympic rings won’t be displayed during the Paralympics because of branding regulations. Notably, athletes with Olympic Ring tattoos must cover it up or risk being disqualified from the event.

The qualification process of the US swimming trials is different to that of the Paralympics. Even though the winners of the US trails enter themselves to the Olympics, Paralympics athlete qualify according to their rankings and other factors.

Likewise, Paralympic swimmers need not touch the end point with two hands as the Olympic swimmers do. Loss of limbs or irregular arm length would make it impossible for the athletes to reach the end point, and would give the other competitors an unfair advantage.

To sum up, the officials check the goggles of the competitors after the race. No light should pass through the goggles. The swimmer would be disqualified if founded guilty.


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There are many major differences and rules which can be observed during these games. The IOC sets up fair rules to not cause any sort of malpractices during the events.

As the Tokyo Olympics 2021 is all set to start, the importance of the Paralympics cannot be underestimated. All athletes can shine on the grandest stage of them all irrespective of their disabilities.

Paralympics is one of the most important sports in the world, and fans should continue to support the event just like they do, for the Olympics.


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WATCH THIS STORY- 10 Game-Changing Moments at The Olympics


Jacob Gijy

204 articles

Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.



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