Bringing People Together Around the Paralympics

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games begin next week and we’re working with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to help people enjoy them together.


Screenshot of Paralympics Hub

On Facebook, we’ll have a hub of information, including highlights from official Paralympic broadcast partners, team and athlete overviews, a Paralympic Games quiz, posts from friends and more. Fans can visit the hub beginning August 23 by clicking on the #Paralympics hashtag. 

Via the @Paralympics Instagram account, fans will have access to an AR effect that enables them to attempt to mirror the movements of Someity, the official Paralympics mascot, and earn AR medals for their performances. The @Wethe15 Instagram account will also feature an AR effect to help fans promote the “We the 15” movement, which aims to end discrimination against people with disabilities, who make up 15% of the global population.


People will also be able to enjoy a range of Paralympic-related content across the Facebook family of technologies.

  • We’ve teamed up with the IPC to build “Paralympics Raw: Emotion Unites Us,” an immersive WebXR visual and spatial audio experience that recreates phenomenal moments by Para athletes. The experience features the voices of athletes — including Birgit Skarstein, Katie Kelly, Chan Ho Yuen, Lex Gillette and Abbas Karimi — who share their stories of competing in Para Sport and at the Paralympic Games. With animated visuals and spatial sound, people feel like they’re in the moment with the athlete. Fans can access the experience by visiting via their desktop, mobile or Oculus browsers beginning August 24.
  • Over the course of the competition, the IPC will also deliver a steady cadence of live programming and highlights on the Paralympic Games Facebook Page.
  • Earlier this summer, we launched a Reels-centric series on the @instagram account, which brought fans behind the scenes with Para athletes as they prepared for Tokyo.

We’ve also worked with the IPC to launch a four-part film series on Facebook Watch that explores how sport has created a positive change for disabled communities around the world, in support of #WeThe15. Available via the Paralympic Games Facebook Page, the series highlights how Facebook helps communities in the US, UK, Brazil and New Zealand come together online — and the real-world impact it has offline.

The US film features Dylan Hronec, also known as the “Surfing Samurai,” an adaptive surfer from New York. Dylan is part of the Surf For All community, a non-profit that aims to help people from all walks of life experience the joy of surfing. He explains how Facebook helps adaptive surfers find out about the community.

The UK film features The Derby Wheelblazers, a competitive wheelchair basketball team that welcomes anyone of any ability. The story focuses on Joe Hinsley, who has spina bifida. Joe shares the transformative role sport can have, helping him grow from a shy kid to a confident player and assistant coach. In the film, he talks about how Facebook helps the group overcome the challenge of recruiting new members and bond as a community.

The Brazil film highlights the Associação Bola pra Frente Esportes Adaptados, a São Paulo-based football team for players with disabilities, focusing on amputees. It features Daniel, whose leg was amputated after a motorcycle crash. He explains how, through Facebook, the association can reach and inspire more people with disabilities.

The New Zealand film spotlights the Te Arawa Swimming Club, an inclusive, community-run club in Rotorua that believes swimming should be accessible to all. It covers the story of Siobhan Terry, who was born with clubfoot. Through swimming, the opportunities the Te Arawa Swimming Club has offered her, and the use of Facebook, Terry has gone on to not only coach other new Para swimming recruits, but also become an ambassador for the sport and a 2024 Paralympic Games hopeful.

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