Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic mascots with Japanese athletes waving at crowds

Paralympics New Zealand supports the decision made by the IOC, supported by the International Paralympic Committee on 25 March 2020 to postpone the Paralympic and Olympic Games until 2021. The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will now take place from 24 August to 5 September 2021.

About Tokyo 2020

Japan has a reputation for is flawless preparation and execution in large scale events. Having hosted the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games, Japan will no doubt deliver a Games that will be no exception to this rule.

In February 2017 the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Paralympic and Olympic Games launched its new Tokyo 2020 medal project. The project entails precious metals such as gold, silver and bronze being salvaged from discarded mobile phones and other small electronic devices, and recycled for the production of medals to be awarded to athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Asia New Zealand Foundation Te Whitau Tuhono and Paralympics New Zealand have collaborated in producing a Years 7-10 social studies teaching resource on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The resources are available for free and can be downloaded here.

Tokyo 2020 Playbooks

The Playbooks have been developed jointly by the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee. They outline the responsibilities of all Games participants and the rules that must be followed. Each and every one of us plays an integral role in ensuring that these Games are safe and successful for all, and we encourage you to lead by example, following these rules, in your day-to-day activities.

The Playbook Athletes and Officials – Version 3

The Playbook International Federations – Version 2

The Playbook Press – Version 3

The Playbook Broadcasters – Version 3


Updated 20 May 2021

Paralympian #164 Cameron Leslie

Para swimming | Wheelchair Rugby
Quadruple limb deficiency | S4, SB4, SM4 (Para swimming) | 3.0 P (Wheelchair rugby)

Paralympian #164 Cameron Leslie was a Paralympic gold medallist and world record holder at Beijing 2008, London 2012 and again at Rio 2016. He will be competing at his fourth straight Paralympic Games in Tokyo where he will be looking to continue his outstanding performances in both Para swimming and Wheelchair rugby as a member of the Wheel Blacks. A formidable force in the pool, he is also one of the most successful high pointer players throughout the world in Wheelchair rugby. Leslie will be the first NZ Paralympian since the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games to have competed at a Paralympic Games in more than one Para sport. At the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games Paralympian #58 Janette Cordery competed in both Para athletics and Para swimming winning a bronze medal. Leslie has a quadruple limb deficiency. Read more

Paralympian #166 Sophie Pascoe

Para swimming
Limb deficiency | S9, SB8, SM9

Sophie Pascoe is the most decorated NZ Paralympian having won 15 Paralympic medals. Pascoe made her Paralympic debut at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games securing three gold and one silver medal. Four years late in London she continued her world class performances winning three gold and three silver medals. At her third Paralympic Games she went on to win three gold and two silver medals. Tokyo 2020 will be her fourth Games.
Read more

Paralympian #179 Nikita Howarth

Para swimming
Bilateral upper limb deficiency | S7, SB7, SM7
Te Awamutu

Nikita Howarth was New Zealand’s youngest ever Paralympian when she made her Paralympic debut in London 2012 at just 13 years of age. She then went on to win a gold and bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Tokyo 2020 will see Howarth compete at her third Paralympic Games after only returning to the sport of Para swimming less than two years ago after a very successful stint competing in Para cycling. She recently set a new short-course world record in the Women’s 100m Individual Medley SM7.
Read more

Paralympian #201 Tupou Neiufi

Para swimming
Hypertonia | S9, SB8, SM9

Paralympian #201 Tupou Neiufi was first identified by PNZ in 2011 as part of a Para swimming talent identification programme. She then went on to make her Paralympic debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. At only 15 years of age she placed 7th in the Women’s 100m Backstroke S9. Neiufi is currently ranked 2nd in the world, having won the silver medal in the women’s 100m backstroke S8 in the 2019 Para Swimming World Championships in London. Neiufi has a left sided hemiplegia, meaning she has paralysis on the left side of her body.
Read more

Paralympian #205 Jesse Reynolds

Para swimming
Limb deficiency | S9, SB8, SM9

Paralympian #205 Jesse Reynolds has been a competitive swimmer since the age of 11 and made his Paralympic debut in Rio 2016 where he swam two personal best times. He is currently ranked 6th in the 100 m backstroke S9, where he placed at the 2019 Para Swimming World Championships in London. Reynolds has a single limb deficiency.
Read more

Cody Everson

Wheelchair rugby
Spinal Cord Injury | 1.0 P

Cody Everson, captain of the Wheel Blacks, grew up in Christchurch and had dreams of becoming an All Black one day. It was while playing his favorite game that he sustained a neck injury in a tackle which resulted in the then 15-year-old becoming tetraplegic. While at the Burwood Spinal Unit, Everson met long time Wheel Black Sholto Taylor who encouraged Cody to watch the team in action, giving the boy who wanted to be an All Black a new dream to work towards. “Coming into Wheelchair rugby after having such a serious accident, it was all about being in a team again,” he says.

Hayden Barton-Cootes

Wheelchair rugby
Spinal Cord Injury | 3.0 P

Hayden Barton-Cootes has been involved with the Wheel Blacks since 2015. He has had the opportunity to play in the Australian (South Australian Sharks) and Japanese (Tokyo Suns) domestic competition whilst also getting to experience Japanese culture at the same time. Hayden also plays Wheelchair basketball for the Auckland team and is working towards a Bachelor in Sports Science and hopes to work within the industry once he graduates.

Robert Hewitt

Wheelchair rugby
Spinal Cord Injury | 2.0 P

Robert Hewitt, known as Robbie, has played rugby all his life. In 2009, at the age of 26, a poor play by an opponent went badly and changed Hewitt’s life forever. Whilst staying connected to rugby throughout his life with his work with the Waikato Rugby Union, Hewitt has been involved with the Wheel Blacks since 2010 and made his international debut in 2012 in South Africa. He loves being involved in Wheelchair rugby because it’s a team sport with like-minded individuals all striving to achieve the same goal.

Tainafi Lefono

Wheelchair rugby
Spinal Cord Injury | 2.0 P

Tainafi Lefono was playing rugby in 2007 when a tackle went wrong. Nafi (as he likes to be known as) sustained a spinal cord injury that left him a C7 tetraplegic. A fully qualified Physiotherapist, Lefono is currently working in the community as a neuro physiotherapist helping people to be more independent in their day-to-day lives.  Through Wheelchair rugby Lefono has had many opportunities to travel, a couple of his most memorable places were Brazil and Argentina.

Gareth Lynch

Wheelchair rugby
Spinal Cord Injury | 1.0 1(1)

Gareth Lynch is a keen Wheelchair rugby player and loves the intensity and strategy involved. Five years ago, Lynch had an accident diving into a swimming pool that resulted in a C5 – C6 level spinal cord injury. He has always played sport and has loved competing in a team environment again which is something he says he didn’t think he would be able to do again.  He attributes his love of Wheelchair rugby to the many supporters that have been there for him in the last 5 years.

Gavin Rolton

Wheelchair rugby
Spinal Cord Injury | 0.5 P

Gavin Rolton got into playing Wheelchair rugby in 2007, two years after breaking his neck diving into a river on the Sunshine Coast. Selected for the Wheel Blacks in 2009 he has been a member of the team since. As a senior member of the team Rolton has captained the side and continues to be one of the top players in the world for his point class (0.5). When Rolton isn’t working full time in the health care professional, he is spending time with his fiancé and their two boarder terriers tripping around NZ in their camper van. 

Mike Todd

Wheelchair rugby
Muscle Degeneration | 2.0 P

Mike Todd was introduced to Wheelchair rugby in 2008, and has represented Canterbury ever since.  Born with CMT, a neurological condition that effects all four limbs, he made his Wheel Black debut vs Australia in 2015. Todd has been heavily involved with the administration of Canterbury Wheelchair rugby previously serving as President of CWR.  By day Todd’s role as a staff trainer crosses over nicely from his rugby experience allowing him real world examples to get the best out of the sessions with his trainees. Through Wheelchair rugby Todd has been able to travel the world.

Lisa Adams

Para athletics – Shot Put
Cerebral Palsy | F37

Lisa Adams began competing in Para athletics in 2018 after an article about her playing rugby league was spotted by Athletics New Zealand coach Raylene Bates. A few months later, she attended a classification event in Hastings and was encouraged to try shot put and discus. A year later Adams broke the Women’s Shot Put F37 world record which she went onto to break a further three times along with winning gold at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships. Coached by her sister, two-time Olympic gold medallist Dame Valerie, Lisa resides in Rotorua and has cerebral palsy.

Danielle Aitchison

Para athletics – 200m
Cerebral Palsy | T36

Danielle Aitchison will make her Paralympic debut in Tokyo 2020. She had her first taste of national success in 2017 at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships where she won gold in the 200m and long jump, and silver in the 100m. With no long jump in her classification at the Paralympic Games, Aitchison focused her energy on the 100m and 200m. She was then selected to represent New Zealand at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai and went on to win silver in the Women’s 200m T36.

Paralympian #192 Caitlin Dore

Para athletics – Shot Put
Cerebral Palsy | F37

Caitlin Dore made her debut in Rio 2016 and placed 7th in the Women’s Javelin F37. Following the Paralympics in Rio, Dore had to reassess her athletics future, after the Women’s Javelin F37 was taken off the list of guaranteed events for the Tokyo 2020. A shift to Women’s Shot Put F37 produced encouraging results, with Dore breaking the New Zealand record just eight months after making the change. She moved back home to Christchurch early this year, where she now trains alongside Dame Valerie Adams and Tom Walsh. Read more.

Paralympian #195 Anna Grimaldi

Para athletics – Long Jump
Limb Deficiency | T47

Paralympian #195 Anna Grimaldi, is already known to kiwis for her gold medal winning moment at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in the Women’s Long Jump T47. Grimaldi struggled at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championship in London from a lingering foot issue. After 2 years of medical care and rehabilitation she was back on the podium, winning silver in the Women’s Long Jump T47 at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships. During the 2021 summer season, Grimaldi achieved 4 PBs, taking her within 10cm of the world record in her classification of T47. Grimaldi has a single limb deficiency. Read more.

Paralympian #183 Holly Robinson

Para athletics – Javelin
Limb Deficiency | F46

Holly Robinson made her Paralympic debut in London 2012, going on to be named flag bearer for the New Zealand Paralympic Team at the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. At Rio 2016, she won a silver medal in the Women’s Javelin F46. Tokyo 2020 will be her third Paralympic Games. In March 2021, Holly wrote herself into the record books when she became the first Para athlete to win a medal in an open event at the Jennian Homes New Zealand Track & Field Championships, taking silver in the women’s javelin. Robinson resides in Dunedin has a single limb deficiency. Read more.

Paralympian #208 William Stedman

Para athletics – 400m / Long Jump
Cerebral Palsy | T36

Residing in Christchurch, William Stedman is not new to the big events, having competed at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games where at the age of 16 he won two bronze medals in the Men’s 400m and 800m T36. He has continued his dominance on the track, winning silver at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships in the Men’s 800m T36, and bronze at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in the Men’s 400m T36. Stedman has cerebral palsy. Read more.


Chef de Mission – Paula Tesoriero

Deputy Chef de Mission – Lynette Grace

Simon Chatterton – Preparation and Recovery Manager 
Rod Corban – Games Team Psychology Lead
Stephen Kara – Para Cycling Team Doctor
Jake Pearson – Medical and Health Team Manager
Megan Munro – Para Cycling Physiotherapist
Jennifer Scott – Team Physiotherapist
Anna Skipper – Preparation and Recovery Lead

More announcements to be made in following months.

Information for Para athletes and support staff

IPC Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Qualification Regulations April 2021

PNZ Selection Regulation for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games – updated November 2020

Nomination Criteria – Schedule B – Athletics NZ updated May 2021

Nomination Criteria – Schedule C – Badminton New Zealand updated May 2021

Nomination Criteria – Schedule E – New Zealand Canoe Federation – updated November 2020

Nomination Criteria – Schedule F – Cycling New Zealand updated February 2021

Nomination Criteria – Schedule G – Equestrian Sports New Zealand – updated August 2020

Nomination Criteria – Schedule K – World Powerlifting New Zealand updated March 2021

Nomination Criteria – Schedule M – New Zealand Shooting Federation updated 25 February 2021

Nomination Criteria- Schedule O – Swimming New Zealand updated March 2021

Nomination Criteria – Schedule U – New Zealand Wheelchair Rugby updated November 2020