On Sunday, 5th September, at the National Stadium of Japan in Tokyo, the sixteenth Paralympic Summer Games concluded. Inaugurated on 24th August, the Paralympic Games are the meeting point for hundreds of athletes from all over the world who challenge their limits for over 13 days, demonstrating that willpower, determination, and courage are the perfect mix to achieve any goal.
The first Paralympic Games were held in 1960 in Rome. Since that edition, the Games represent a concrete example of acceptance and consideration of diversity.
The opening ceremony of the XVI Paralympic Games took place at Tokyo's Para Airport - a symbol of diversity and inclusion - with the theme "We have Wings", a tribute to the resilience of para-athletes.
We feel extremely lucky to collaborate with different people, athletes or not, with exceptional personalities that enrich our work with their stories. In particular, 4 of our brand ambassadors attended this edition of the Games by achieving great results.
For swimming, Vincenzo Boni. Born in 1985, Vincenzo finished 5th in the 200 meter freestyle, an excellent result achieved with a time of 3:32.40. For the Paralympic swimmer of the Caravaggio Sporting Village and Fiamme Oro team, this was his second Paralympics, the first one was Rio 2016. For Vincenzo Boni, this Olympics was different from the previous one. As he said: "I will carry these Olympics in my heart, this is probably my last participation and maybe my future will take a different path. But this is not my definitive choice".
For the Italian cycling, Francesca Porcellato. For Francesca, this was her fourteenth medal in three different specialties achieved in eleven editions of the Games, including summer and winter editions. She won the first Paralympic title at Seoul 88 in the 100 meters category T53. And now she earned a Silver medal in cycling (H1-H3 category), improving the result obtained in Rio 2016 where she finished in third place.
"I'm like red wine, the older I get, the better I get," said Francesca to the press after the Paralympics.
Roger Habsch, from Belgium, come back from Tokyo with two medals in the T51 category: third place in the 100m in 20''76 and another Bronze medal in the 200m with a time of 38''33. At 42 years old, Habsch's chances of winning a medal were high, and the athlete matched expectations.
Roger has also competed in international handcycling races and participated in Para-triathlon at a national level. His philosophy, one of the things we like about him, is "To learn, you have to make mistakes, but you have also to be aware of your mistakes and what they can generate."
Maxime Hordies, at 25 years old, the Brussels-based para-cyclist finished third in the time trial. For the young athlete, this victory is not the first: in fact, he won a bronze medal in the road race and another bronze in the time trial at the 2021 World Championships in Cascais; he achieved a Gold medal in the road race and silver in the time trial at the 2019 World Championships in Emmene; and is the 2019 World Cup Winner in the H1 category.
At the 16th edition of the Paralympic Games attended 4.403 athletes from more than 200 countries around the world who competed in 22 different sports disciplines. At the closing ceremony, enthusiasm, celebrations and many smiles greeted these games that saw Italy win 69 medals (coming ninth in the medal table of participating countries) and 15 medals for Belgium (four gold, three silver, and eight bronze).
Aria Wheels is proud to be represented by these phenomenal athletes and we congratulate them for their achievements.