Queen of England, Elizabeth II, has paid tribute to the athletes who have brought home over 100 medals from the Tokyo Paralympics, earning the UK the second spot in the rankings.
The Paralympics came to an end on Sunday in a colourful ceremony at the National Stadium on Sunday overseen by the country’s Crown Prince Akishino, the brother of Emperor Naruhito.
The Olympics, which preceded the Paralympics 13-day run, closed almost a month ago.
The UK came second in the games behind China, taking home 41 gold, 38 silver and 45 bronze medals.
In a statement, The Queen said: ‘I offer my warm congratulations to Paralympic athletes from Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and indeed to the athletes of all Commonwealth countries, on their enormous success at the Tokyo Games.
‘The commitment, dedication and adaptability shown by you, and your support teams, during the exceptional circumstances of the last 18 months has been inspirational.
‘Your performances have lifted the nation and your triumphs been celebrated by us all.
‘I send my very best wishes to all those who have contributed to the success of these memorable Games.’
The games have been like none other after they were postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. No fans were permitted to attend the games, save for a few thousand at outlying venues away from Tokyo.
Only a few thousand school children were allowed in to some Paralympic venues.
Athletes were frequently tested for the virus and kept in a social bubble, which kept the virus largely at bay, though cases surged among the Japanese population, which is now almost 50 per cent vaccinated.
‘There were many times when we thought these games could not happen,’ Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee, said on Sunday. ‘There were many sleepless nights.’
Seiko Hashimoto, the President of the Tokyo Organising Committee added: ‘I believe that we have reached the end of games without any major problems.’
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