What is the significance of the "Peace Festival"? Beijing Paralympics March 14, 17:18

The "Peace Festival"

Beijing Paralympics has become a tournament where the significance of this word is questioned throughout the tournament.

The Beijing Paralympics, held as Russia's military invasion of Ukraine continued, began in an unusual way that the RPC-Russia Paralympic Committee and Belarus would not be allowed to participate shortly before.

And the players continued to utter words of prayer for peace.

(Beijing Paralympic coverage group reporter Taku Hosoi / Toshiya Mochii / Shohei Matsuyama)

“Not an era of war or hatred”

March 4, 2022.

Beijing Paralympic Opening Ceremony.

Approximately 560 athletes from 46 countries and territories participated in the quarterly celebration.

IPC = President of the International Paralympic Committee, Parsons, has appealed to the world.

"This is an era of dialogue and diplomacy, not an era of war or hatred. The world should not be divided where we live together."

Finally, he clasped the fists of both hands and called out powerfully.


As Russia's invasion of Ukraine continued, the "Peace Festival" began.

Shaking judgment

The RPC players were already in the field.

The ice hockey players were making adjustments, such as attending practice games.

However, the day before the opening of the IPC, a decision was made not to allow participation with Belarus, which has an alliance.

At one point, he was only allowed to participate as a neutral individual, but he changed his mind.

Regarding this background, President Parsons revealed that more than half of the approximately 50 participating countries and regions had expressed their intention to oppose the participation of RPC and Belarus.

RPC's biathlon coach was disappointed.

"I hugged the players and shed tears. The word sport without politics stopped working long ago."

The Paralympics, which should be a "festival of peace" that recognizes diversity and aims for a symbiotic society, have a big contradiction of excluding some players.

To the heart of Ukraine's homeland

The tournament has begun.

Ukrainian athletes showed their hearts and minds for their homeland suffering from Russia's military invasion.

Biathlon, the captain of the team, and Gregory Bobchinski, a cross-country skier, have shown their responsibilities as national skiers.

Gregory Bobtinsky

"Fighting here is the only thing we can do now. We want to bring light to Ukraine."

However, there were some players whose performance was affected by the serious situation of their homeland.

Julia Battenkova, his Baumann player who participated in Biathlon.

She didn't get the medal she was aiming for and revealed her painful chest.

Julia Batenkova Baumann

"I can hear shootings and fighters over the phone with my family in Kiev. I have nightmares every day and can't sleep and concentrate on the competition."

March 10th during the tournament.

The Ukrainian delegation has taken an unusual action in the Olympic Village, raising a banner calling for peace and calling for the end of the war.

Ukrainian Paralympic Committee Chairman Wallery Sishkevic has filed a complaint.

" See

how terrible things are happening in our country. If you are a wise man, you have to stop the war."

And in an independent interview with NHK, Chairman Sishkevic said:

Chairman Wallery Sishkevic

"The reason we are here is to show the world the existence of Ukraine and to work together to stop the war."

What athletes can do

An unusual Paralympic Games that took place as the military invasion continued.

Japanese players took this situation very seriously.

Keiichi Sato (Biathlon)

"I think what you can do as an athlete in the current world situation is to convey peace through your own performance."

Akira Kano (Alpine skiing)

"Athletes who cannot participate in competitions and lose their lives in the world." We have to be aware of the fact that there are people who are skiing. We want the sad reality to settle quickly. ”

Keiji Okamoto (snowboarding)

“ It's a difficult time in the world, but we ski desperately. I hope everyone gets excited by that. "

The last day of the tournament.

The Ukrainian team spoke again at the cross-country ski competition.

Won a gold medal in the last event.

After the medal ceremony, the players lined up.

This year, the Ukrainian team won a record 11 gold medals.

The captain of the team, Bob Chinsky, said the implications of these results.

Gregory Bobtinsky

"Victory is of great significance to us because it is a victory for all Ukrainians and a victory for all Ukraine. I want to share this victory with the Ukrainians."

"I We are with the country every day and we have the greatest motivation to fight here, which is why the Ukrainian paralympic team has become the best ever. "

Local China is making a leap, while Japan is ...

The Paralympic Games were held under unusual circumstances.

It was also a tournament that highlighted challenges for Japanese players.

What stood out throughout this tournament was the success of locals and Chinese.

At the Paralympics, it was the first medal in the history of the winter tournament to win a gold medal in the wheelchair curling of the previous tournament, but this tournament won a total of 61 medals including 18 gold medals.

Compared to the total number of male and female athletes who participated in the previous competition, this competition was held locally and 116 people participated in all competitions.

While it seems that parasports have spread rapidly since the event was held in their own country, the results of strengthening such as inviting alpine ski coaches from Italy have been shown.

Furthermore, in China, the activities of younger generation players were outstanding.

Four of the seven snowboard medals are teenagers.

In addition, 6 out of 7 players were the first to participate in the Paralympics, but they won medals over the American and European players who had been ranked high in the World Cup.

China, which has won a total of 1229 medals at the Summer Paralympics, has begun to work on strengthening the winter tournament in earnest.

(The total number of medals for the Japanese summer tournament is 427)

Japan on the other hand.

The number of medals won in this tournament was 7, which was lower than the 10 in the previous Pyeongchang tournament.

25-year-old Momoka Muraoka in alpine skiing has three gold medals and one silver medal.

21-year-old Taiki Kawayoke is one gold player in cross-country skiing.

41-year-old Taiki Morii won two bronze medals.

In cross-country skiing, there was a rise of young people such as Kawayoke's gold medal and 18-year-old Mika Iwamoto making his first appearance, but there are also competitions where the appearance of the participating players does not change in many competitions. Is the current situation.

Yoshihiro Nitta, the ace of cross-country skiing who has participated in seven consecutive tournaments, has continued to compete in the Paralympics in order to keep the Japanese Nordic team from winning medals.

Nitta said after Taiki Kawayoke won the gold medal as the next-generation ace.

Yoshihiro Nitta

"It's not good to rely on one player, Kawayoke. If you find the next generation of players and pull them up firmly, or if you pull and strengthen the players of summer competition like China. It may lead to a leap forward. While exploring such things, we will convey the charm and enjoyment of cross-country skiing to people with disabilities. "

"Dual wield" as a trigger for popularization

Nitta's words have hints on the spread of parasports in the future.

The keyword is "dual wield".

Of the 29 Japanese athletes who participated in this tournament, four have participated in the Winter and Summer Paralympics.

It is even more widespread overseas, with some top players winning gold medals in both the summer and winter Paralympics.

Kendall Gretsch of the United States won the gold medal in the triathlon at the Tokyo Games last year.

She won the gold medal in this tournament in a biathlon women's 10-kilometer sitting-sliding class.

The success of high-performance athletes can be a catalyst for people with disabilities to start sports.

According to a survey conducted by the Japan Sports Agency after the Tokyo Paralympics, which showed excitement at the event held in their own country, the percentage of people with disabilities who exercise at least once a week reached a record high of 31%.

Muraoka, who left a result in "dual wield", said as follows.

Momoka Muraoka

"There are no one leg, there is a visual impairment, and various athletes are aiming to be the best in the play of three people. I want you to see the power and coolness, people with disabilities I'd be happy if you thought "I want to try it for a while" and "I want to ride a chair ski". "

The realization of a society where people with disabilities can enjoy various sports will be the foundation for training top athletes and will lead to strengthening.

What you can do in sports

Last year's Tokyo Paralympics, where awareness of parasports spread with "diversity and harmony".

The success of the athletes at the Beijing Paralympics, which was held just six months later, was a great opportunity to raise interest not only in summer but also in winter parasports.

For that reason, the size of the shadow cast by the Russian military invasion on the Paralympics is immeasurable.

Is the Paralympic Games necessary in such a world situation?

Is the medal won in the absence of top players worth it?

Even in such doubts, the athletes continued to show the value of the sport by showing their best performance.

An alpine skiing Slovak player who slipped down a steep slope, relying only on the voice of a guide while losing his eyesight.

She is an American female snowboarder who won a gold medal as a result of her class disappearing and she was able to participate in the Paralympics until she appealed to the trial.

And the Ukrainian team made a leap forward with a wish for peace, thinking of her homeland.

Oksana Masters, a Nordic skier from Ukraine, told her who couldn't make it, along with her feelings for her homeland.

Oksana Masters

"I also want to pay attention to the players who couldn't compete in Russia and Belarus. The sport should be united and all athletes should be given the opportunity, but it's unfortunate that it didn't. . If one day we can compete together again "

"Compete together" instead of "fight".

It is the essence of sports and a great attraction.

It made me realize once again that there is a place to compete together and that being able to play sports is not a matter of course, but a precious and precious thing.