With the first of the historic Paralympic Games organised by Sir Ludwig Guttmann of Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1948 taking place on the same day as the London 1948 Olympics Opening Ceremony, the ceremonial opening of the international sports championships holds special significance for the Paralympics.
As the Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020 get underway today on Tuesday 24 August, the world will be tuning in to a dramatic opening ceremony staged in the heart of the Japanese capital for the second time this month.
But given the considerable time difference between the UK and Japan, what time will UK viewers actually be able to watch the Opening Ceremony?
Here’s what time the Paralympics Opening Ceremony starts today and how to watch it live in the UK.
What time does the Paralympics 2020 Opening Ceremony start?
The Opening Ceremony for the Paralympic Games 2020 is set to kick off at 8pm local time in Tokyo, Japan.
With the Japanese metropolis being eight hours ahead of the UK, this means that the action will likely begin at 12pm.
The spectacle used to celebrate the opening of the Paralympic Games will feature the more than 4,000 athletes taking part across 22 different sports.
Of these, the UK’s ParalympicsGB team is set to compete in 19 total.
How can I watch the Tokyo Paralympics Opening Ceremony in the UK?
Having taken the coveted spot of being the UK’s official Paralympic Games 2020 broadcaster, the Opening Ceremony and more than 300 hours of the Tokyo Paralympic Games will be broadcast on Channel 4.
The channel’s live stream of the games’ Opening Ceremony will begin at 11.30am today, with the event itself expected to begin at 12pm.
Channel 4 is also teaming up with popular ‘Gen Z’ social media platform TikTok to bring fans of the Paralympics behind the scenes content, clips and more from the Tokyo games.
Alex Mahon, CEO, Channel 4, said of the partnership: “We want to make the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics the most accessible Games ever and this innovative partnership with TikTok will bring more creative and bespoke content to the widest audience possible, wherever they are.
“We’ve seen huge engagement with our C4 and E4 accounts on TikTok with over 23 million views since launch in March this year.
“We hope the hub will not only attract new audiences to the Games but also further improve visibility and understanding of disability, and inspire the next generation of Paralympians."
Who are the ParalympicsGB flagbearers?
Swimmer Ellie Simmonds and archer John Stubbs have been selected as Great Britain's flagbearers for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Paralympics.
Simmonds is poised for her fourth successive Games having already won eight medals, including five golds.
Stubbs was Paralympic champion in the individual compound event at Beijing 2008 and also claimed silver in the team compound at Rio 2016.
The pair will lead team-mates into the Olympic Stadium in the Japanese capital on Tuesday, with 12 days of action scheduled to begin the following day.
Simmonds, 26 is Great Britain's first female flagbearer at a summer Paralympics since fellow swimmer Maggie McEleny in 2000.
"I'm hugely honoured to carry the flag for the ParalympicsGB team - on behalf of all the athletes, support staff and for the entire nation back home," she said in a statement.
"Just to be here in Tokyo is amazing but to carry the flag is the icing on the cake and I can't wait for the competition to start."
At the age of 56, Stubbs is the oldest athlete on the ParalympicsGB team.
He said: "I felt incredibly emotional when I was told the news. For any elite athlete to go to the Games and be bestowed this honour is a privilege. Words can't describe what it means to me.
"It's been a torrid year - unfortunately I lost my Dad in January. He was my biggest fan, and hopefully if he's looking down on me, he's there saying: 'Do it for the Stubbs family John, you've earned it and you deserve it'. I know my family will be as proud as punch."