Tokyo Paralympics: Why do visually impaired athletes wear blindfolds?
All athletes are required to be blindfolded when competing in the classification that includes the fully blind athletes
Paralympics are a stage that offer an opportunity for athletes with various impairments to compete in various sports at the highest level. There are athletes with three main types of impairments who compete at the Paralympics. The three main types of eligible impairments are physical impairments, visual impairments and intellectual impairments.
Visually impaired para-athletes range from athletes who are totally blind to athletes who have partial vision. Athletes with partial vision are allowed to compete if their impairment is enough for them to be considered legally blind. To make sure that the competition is an even contest, all athletes are required to be blindfolded when competing in the classification that includes the fully blind athletes.
There are different classifications in visually impaired competitions based on the level of impairment of the athlete. Athletes in classes with less impairment do not need to wear blindfolds. What classifications there are and which of the classifications require wearing of blindfolds in each sport is decided by the individual sport's federation.