A celebration event was held in Tokyo to mark exactly three-years-to-go until the 2020 Paralympic Games.
The event, organised by the Organizing Committee, the Japanese Paralympic Committee (JPC) and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG), was held on a waterfront deck overlooking Tokyo Bay in Toyosu.
Para-athletes including blind footballer Kento Kato and powerlifter Hiroshi Miura were on hand to show off their skills with around 3,000 people in attendance in the Japanese capital.
Other guests included Japan’s five-time Paralympic swimming gold medalist Junichi Kawai, who boasts 21 medals from the Games in all.
Tokyo 2020 also used the event to highlight their commitment to deliver a “fully inclusive” Paralympic Games.
“Today, I feel the weight of expectation for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games from all those who attended the event,” said Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto.
“In addition, the Paralympians’ powerful performances allowed us to appreciate their amazing abilities.
“Tokyo 2020’s mission is to provide a stage on which all athletes can deliver their personal best performance, and we are confident that everyone who watches or participates in the Paralympic Games will remember the Tokyo 2020 Games as the best in history.
“Beyond the Games themselves, our aim is to allow people of diverse abilities to live in harmony.
“And we believe that by improving accessibility for those with impairments, for the elderly and for those with young children, we can help create a fully inclusive community that provides all people with equal opportunity.”
Sir Philip Craven, the outgoing President of the International Paralympic Committee who will be replaced following an election next month, delivered a video message to the event.
“I’m amazed at the preparations that have already taken place three years ahead of time, and the enthusiasm and positive energy coming out of Tokyo and from all the partners,” the Briton said.
“I know that the Paralympic Movement is deep in the hearts of everybody in Tokyo, and that includes the Organizing Committee of Tokyo 2020, the TMG and Governor Koike, all of the delivery partners and the commercial partners, and the JPC, who I know will ensure a great performance from the Japan Paralympic team in 2020.”
By Dan Palmer
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.