What the Tokyo Paralympics taught me September 7, 20:34

The opening ceremony that taught me that "everyone has" wings "."

The closing ceremony that conveys the wonderfulness of the world where "differences shine".

The two ceremonies of the Tokyo Paralympics represented the diversity of para-athletes and their ability to confront adversity.

Why did the appearance of para-athletes hit our hearts while it became an unusual tournament with no spectators at the end of the postponement?

The answer was in the words of none other than the players.

(Sports News Department Reporter Yosuke Nakano / Shunsuke Shimanaka / Takashi Kanazawa)

"Diversity" shown

Keiichi Kimura (30), a Japanese ace of swimming, couldn't stop the tears he was holding up at the moment when you passed the national anthem on the podium.

Kimura, who grabbed his first gold medal at the Paralympics in four consecutive tournaments, became completely blind due to his illness at the age of two.

Keiichi Kimura

"I can't see any color when I get on the podium and get a medal. When I heard the national anthem, I felt that I was a gold medalist and a world champion."

It is not until the gold medalist hears the national anthem that he realizes that he has reached the top.

This alone shows how diverse the Paralympics are.

There are various nationalities as well as disabilities, ages and genders.

That is why there are so many things to notice.

After winning the gold medal at the age of 50, Keiko Sugiura, the oldest Japanese bicycle player, spoke a stunning word all over Japan.

Keiko Sugiura

"I can never make the youngest record, but I can make the oldest record again."

Three days later, Sugiura won the second gold medal and immediately proved his words.

Power to confront adversity

Along with the diversity, the players showed us the strength to never give up in any adversity.

"Hi dudes Oh Oh masculinity!"

Land long jump Atsushi Yamamoto player of the prosthesis of the class (39), showed a large jump to update a personal best in the final, I was raised a roar.

For a leading expert who has devoted himself to the spread of parasports, a stand without spectators would have been the most difficult.

Still, before his leap, he clapping his hands and set a big record, proving that the Paralympics are as exciting as the Olympics.

Atsushi Yamamoto

"Many people said that they were cheering in front of the TV, so I asked for clapping even if there was no audience. I think it was a long jump that people watching on TV can enjoy live."

Tomoya Ito (58), a veteran of the track and field wheelchair class, has changed his disability class the day before the opening and will face a race without a win.

The race could not keep up with the players with light disabilities and lost the qualifying.

Even so, I rode a wheelchair for competition, which I had developed over five years with young engineers, and set my personal best.

Tomoya Ito

"I could clearly see the people who were involved with me in the crowd, and there was such a landscape in front of me from the start to the goal. I feel like I ran after it all the time. do"

What the two track and field legends showed in their personal bests.

It was the strength of a para-athlete who wouldn't give in to any adversity.

Children's "awareness"

The overwhelming diversity and ability to confront adversity embodied by the athletes at the Tokyo Paralympics.

Due to the spread of the new corona infection, children's watching at the competition venue has been greatly reduced.

Even so, the children who visited the competition venue asked me for their honest "awareness."

A child who watched wheelchair rugby

"The sound of a wheelchair hitting was powerful, and I was surprised at the speed even if there was a disability."

A child who watched the goal ball

"It is amazing to see him actively trying to take the ball even though he should not be able to see it."

Mr. Kawai

"Children have commented that they wanted to do their best in sports and other things, and they often noticed. Taking this awareness as a trigger, they stretched their trunks and made flowers. I think we have taken a big step towards a symbiotic society. "

Toward a society where everyone can live comfortably regardless of their disabilities.

The message that the athletes continued to send through the Paralympics must have reached both the children who watched the game at the venue and the children who watched the game on TV.

What the Paralympics left behind

Ayano Yoshida (14), a third-year junior high school student in Yokohama, started para-athletics last year, admiring the appearance of athletes aiming for the Tokyo Paralympics.

For Mr. Yoshida, who has had cerebral palsy since he was born and has a disability in his legs, the wheelchair for competition was the "wing" itself.

Ayano Yoshida

"I tried riding and thought,'I can run so fast.' I'll do my best to get closer to the people who were shining at the Paralympics."

I want to go to the Paralympics someday.

Mr. Yoshida had a big dream.

In Edogawa Ward, Tokyo, boccia classes have been held every month since last year.

Boccia, which was devised so that it can be played together regardless of disability, age, gender, etc., gradually gained popularity.

Nowadays, many office workers and students without disabilities are playing with people with Down syndrome, autism, and wheelchairs.

With the success of Hidetaka Sugimura (39), who won Japan's first gold medal, and "Bitabita" of "Hinotama Japan", exchanges that transcend obstacles are likely to become more active.

No, it ’s “interesting”

Even in the unusual tournament of no spectators, the dynamic appearance of the athletes surely reached the hearts of many people at the Tokyo Paralympics.

The moment when you are moved is surely different for each person.

That is one of the diversity of para-athletes.

Accidents and players suffered a failure in the disease, the players of congenital disorders

their own fault the players that this is has been that player, much distressed obvious

player who wants to connect to the understanding of the disorder

just result as one of the athletes A player who pursues only

Everyone has different reasons for devoting themselves to parasports.

"Why can this player work so hard?"

The answer is that there are as many players as there are players.

"It's so interesting to know the difference."

It may be the appeal of the Paralympics to make people aware of it.

Tani Mami (39), who participated in the triathlon, posted a photo of seven athletes with different disabilities, such as wheelchairs and artificial legs, crossing the pedestrian crossing in the Olympic Village on SNS, and added the following message.

"Everyone is different, everyone is good"

Make the Tokyo Paralympics the "beginning" of change, not the "end".

That is the wish of all para-athletes.

Sports News Department Reporter

Yosuke Nakano

Joined in 2008

Kanazawa Bureau Miyazaki Bureau

After working in the Economic Department, he is currently in

charge of the

Paralympic Games.

Reporter of Sports News Department

Shunsuke Shimanaka

Joined the

station in


Shizuoka station After working at the Kagoshima station, he is in


of the


, focusing on




Reporter of Sports News Department

Takashi Kanazawa

Joined in 2012

Hiroshima Bureau After working at Osaka Bureau, he is

currently in

charge of the Paralympics.