The extraordinary history of the Paralympic movement, and its impact on how the world views disability, is celebrated in a new documentary.
Rising Phoenix, which premieres on Netflix next month, reveals the history of the Paralympic Games and how it became the world’s third-biggest sporting event.
The film was intended to coincide with Tokyo 2020. It now teases the Summer Paralympic Games, which have been rescheduled to take place in Tokyo from August 24 to September 5 next year.
The film features interviews with elite athletes and insiders, including Team GB Paralympian Jonnie Peacock, who has won two 100m gold medals, Australian swimmer Ellie Cole, American archer Matt Stutzman, Chinese powerlifter Cui Zhe, and Australian wheelchair rugby player Ryley Batt.
They reflect on the power of the Paralympic Games and how they impact a global understanding of disability, diversity and excellence.
The first Paralympic Games were held in 1984. Neurologist Sir Ludwig Guttmann organised a sports competition in Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire, involving Second World War veterans with spinal cord-related injuries. Four years later, competitors from Holland joined the Games and the international Paralympic movement was born.
The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games involved 4,328 athletes from 159 countries. Their unbelievable feats of speed, skill and endurance reached a global TV audience of more than 4.1 billion.
Team GB set an Olympic record by winning 67 medals at the Rio Games, two more than at London 2012. The Tokyo Games in 2021 will include 22 sports, including badminton and taekwondo for the first time.
Rising Phoenix streams on Netflix from August 26.