The Queen 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.
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 performance of Harmonious Cacophony during the Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, where entertainers donned their brightest and most unusual clothes to celebrate the end of the Games in style
The stadium floor was transformed over the course of the show with projections, props and performances
Performers wave at the end of the closing ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo wearing bright clothes and displaying their best circus skills
Athletes excitedly took to the floor of the stadium with entertainers to dance and celebrate the end of the Games
Entertainers delighted viewers with their colourful and quirky clothes while the athletes watched on
Hossain Rasouli of Afghanistan and Zakia Khudadadi of Afghanistan carry the flag of Afghanistan in the closing ceremony
The ceremony was held at the National Stadium on Sunday overseen by the country’s Crown Prince Akishino, the brother of Emperor Naruhito
Images were beamed onto the floor of the stadium while performers danced and waved to the cameras
Stilt walkers showed off their skills as they marched around the track in the stadium wearing top haps and bright clothes
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 thousands 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.’
Members of the Great Britain team enjoying themselves during the closing ceremony at Olympic Stadium
Both able-bodied and disabled performers took part in the closing ceremony on Sunday evening
Fireworks go off around the the Olympic Stadium, lighting up the sky to signal the end of the Games for another four years
Entertainers took to the stage in their most colourful clothes to celebrate the end of the Paralympic Games
The Paralympic and Japanese flags flew side-by-side in the stadium as the Games drew to a close
Entertainers excitedly performed for the cameras, showing the best that Tokyo has to offer to mark the end of the most remarkable Olympic Games in history
Fireworks light the sky red and projections on the floor of the stadium highlight the athletes and entertainers below
The performance, called the Harmonious Cacophony, was a circus-style affair, with entertainers riding on unicycles
Flagbearers flew the flags of all the nations that had taken part in the Games at the end of the ceremony
A final projection beamed onto the floor telling viewers that they will see them in Paris for the Olympics in 2024
A record number of athletes – 4,405 – took part in the games, include two from Afghanistan who arrived in the capital several days late after fleeing Kabul.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Olympic historian David Wallechinsky said: ‘The Tokyo Games were a model of efficiency and friendliness.
‘If it hadn’t been for the COVID-related difficulties, these would be right at or near the top of the best-organized of the 19 Olympics – Summer and Winter – I have attended.’