People.com Entertainment Sports The Tokyo Paralympics Are Underway! See the Most Incredible Photos from the Opening Ceremony Athletes including Hunter Woodhall and Chuck Aoki are competing for Team USA at the Tokyo Paralympics, which kicked off on Tuesday in Japan By Lindsay Kimble Lindsay Kimble Lindsay Kimble is a Senior Digital News Editor and the Sports Editor for PEOPLE Digital. She's worked at PEOPLE for over seven years as a writer, reporter and editor across our Entertainment, Lifestyle and News teams, covering everything from the Super Bowl to the Met Gala. She's been nominated for the ASME NEXT Awards for Journalists Under 30, and previously wrote for Us Weekly while on staff at Wenner Media. People Editorial Guidelines Published on August 24, 2021 04:22 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Buda Mendes/Getty 01 of 12 ROB WALBERS/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty During the Tokyo Paralympics opening ceremony in Japan on Tuesday, International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons kicked off the Games by telling athletes that they were the "the best of humanity." 02 of 12 YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty In a message about pushing past challenges, a young Japanese girl played a one-winged plane in an opening ceremony skit. 03 of 12 YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Japanese dancers and performers highlighted the country's culture during the evening ceremony. 04 of 12 YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Paralympic events in Tokyo will run through Sept. 5. 05 of 12 CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Fireworks lit up the Tokyo National Stadium, which was — like for the Olympics — missing spectators, who were barred due to the coronavirus pandemic. 06 of 12 Marcus Brandt/picture alliance via Getty The ceremony included a Parade of Nations, with the Netherlands (pictured here) marching proudly. 07 of 12 Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/picture alliance via Getty The Paralympic torch made its journey to Tokyo beginning on August 12, with a theme of "Share Your Light," before burning bright in the cauldron. 08 of 12 Marcus Brandt/picture alliance via Getty Yui Wago portrayed the one-winged plane during the show. 09 of 12 Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/picture alliance via Getty The Parade of Nations was lead by the six members of the Refugee Paralympic Team. (Team Mexico pictured here.) 10 of 12 Lintao Zhang/Getty Members of the Mexico delegation showed off their team uniforms while entering that National Stadium. 11 of 12 Buda Mendes/Getty Team USA's flagbearers included Chuck Aoki and Melissa Stockwell. 12 of 12 Tokyo Paralympics opening ceremony. Alex Pantling/Getty The IPC displayed the Afghanistan flag at Tokyo 2020 in solidarity with the country, which is facing turmoil after the Taliban takeover.