— Published 9 March 2021

The Parity Games

Why deprive yourself? The IOC took advantage of International Women’s Day on Monday March 8th to once again emphasise the spectacular advance of parity at the upcoming Tokyo Games. They are shaping up to be the first in history to respect the principle of gender balance. The Olympic body details in a press release, nearly 49% of participating athletes will be women. The competition calendar will ensure equal visibility between the women’s and men’s events. It will feature nine more mixed events than at the Rio 2016 Games. In addition, for the first time ever, the 206 National Olympic Committees are expected to have at least one male athlete and one female athlete on their respective Olympic teams. Finally, these 206 delegations and the IOC Refugee Olympic Team will be encouraged to have their flags carried by two athletes, a woman and a man, during the opening ceremony. Same progress for the Paralympic Games, although the numbers remain further out of balance. At least 40.5% of all athletes will be women, or 1 782 competitors, compared to 1 671 women at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (38.6%). During the opening ceremony, all participating National Paralympic Committees will also be encouraged to have their flags carried by two athletes, a woman and a man.