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In recognition of the amazing efforts of our Paralympians in Tokyo, the Sydney Opera House sails will light up with the faces of each Australian athlete this Sunday, with the projection livestreamed so everyone can pay tribute from home.

As the Paralympics draw to an end at the Closing Ceremony, the NSW Government is congratulating all our athletes for their incredible performances during this challenging time.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it will not be possible to watch the event in person, people can only watch on the livestream from home.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said lighting up the iconic Sydney Opera House is a fitting tribute to the 665 athletes who represented Australia at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“Our athletes have done us all proud on the global stage and their achievements have inspired us all in these challenging times,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“All 665 athletes will be projected onto the Sydney Opera House so they can each have their moment on the famous sails.”

Minister for Sport Natalie Ward said the virtual tribute was a fitting way to mark the athletes’ success, with welcome home receptions, ceremonies and ticker tape parades unable to be held due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“To honour their wonderful achievements, the faces of each of our 486 Olympians and 179 Paralympians will be projected one by one onto the sails of the iconic Sydney Opera House over five and a half hours,” Mrs Ward said.

“This year’s Olympics and Paralympics gave us all a much-needed lift and so much joy during these difficult times. Every athlete, coach and official should be incredibly proud of their efforts.

“Just as we were all able to watch their fantastic efforts from our living rooms, we can now pay tribute to our Aussie athletes from the safety of our homes.”

Minister for the Arts Don Harwin encouraged every Australian to watch the livestream from home, and pay tribute to the 665 Australian athletes who showed incredible skills at the global competition in difficult COVID circumstances.

“Not only do we thank each athlete, but we thank Japan for putting on an incredible Olympic and Paralympic Games. Thank you Tokyo, for showing the true Olympic spirit. Australia’s landmark building will shine for all of you,” Mr Harwin said.

Minister for Disability Services Alister Henskens said the illumination of the Opera House, in conjunction with the Paralympics closing ceremony, was a fitting tribute.

“Our brilliant Paralympians have shown us the best of the human spirit, and sent a powerful message of resilience,” Mr Henskens said.

“This is a moment for every Australian to show gratitude and support to all our Olympians and Paralympians.”

The NSW Government thanks the Australian Olympic Committee and Paralympics Australia for their ongoing work as the focus now moves to Paris 2024.

NSW residents are reminded not to visit the Opera House, but to pay tribute from home.


COVID-19 rules and restrictions

Please watch the Tokyo 2020 Tribute from your living room.

Rules and restrictions to protect the community from COVID-19 apply across NSW, including stay at home orders.

See rules and restrictions for Greater Sydney and local government areas of concern, as well as regional and rural NSW.

Watching this tribute event from any vantage point around Sydney Harbour is NOT a reasonable excuse to leave home.

Breaching public health orders is a criminal offence. Penalties apply.

By: NSW Government
Posted: 3 September