Why paper cranes?

Origami paper cranes were used at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo 1964, when garlands of them were given to athletes as symbols of good-luck and well-being.

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games is now taking place in August 2021 and let's celebrate this wonderful story from the past by making our own paper cranes to send messages of good luck to this summer's Paralympic athletes!

We'd love to see a photo of your paper cranes, please post your images and messages on our website, social media or email to [email protected].

Origami paper crane Origami paper crane  Origami paper crane

Make a paper crane Step-by-step guide

Vicky Hope Walker's step-by-step guide below shows you how to make a paper crane and you can download a pdf version here.

Oliver Lam-Watson, TeamGB wheelchair fencer shares his paper crane making skills:

Paper Crane Maker Momoho Yamada's story 

Spectators brought garlands of paper cranes to wish the athletes good luck

Four years before the Tokyo Paralympic Games 1964, Momoho Yamada, with Cerebral Palsy, started to make paper crane garlands to give to the athletes as symbols of ‘good luck’. Unable to use his body in the way he wanted he had to use his mouth and possibly his feet to make his origami cranes. Having been house bound, when the organisers of the Games heard about his work, he was invited to the opening of the Games and there after spent his life breaking down barriers to disabilities. Read more of his story here.