Before the opening of the Tokyo Paralympic Games, which took half a year in 24 days, NHK asked the Paralympic Games organizations about holding this tournament, and found that more than 60% of the organizations felt uneasy. It was.
The main reason is that the influence of the new coronavirus and the pros and cons of holding it are divided, and the government and the Games Organizing Committee will be asked whether they can take measures against corona and gain the understanding of the people.
NHK conducted a questionnaire survey of 26 sports organizations in Japan this month before the opening of the Tokyo Paralympics, and received responses from 25 organizations.
When asked about the Tokyo Paralympic Games held in August, 64% of the respondents answered "anxiety" or "a little anxiety."
The reasons for this are the most affected by the new coronavirus, such as "there is a risk of spreading infection when many people gather" and "you have to concentrate on both the game and infection control, which is a big stress". there was.
In addition, there are many concerns about the fact that public opinion is divided between the pros and cons of holding the tournament, such as "I am worried that people will be happy to win medals or if there will be negative voices to the players" or "Morimae of the Organizing Committee Public opinion is becoming more and more severe due to the remarks of the chairman. "
Furthermore, when asked what is indispensable for holding this year,
▽ the decrease in the number of infected people in Japan was the largest at 80%,
▽ infection countermeasures such as vaccines at 76%,
▽ understanding of the people, to athletes. The sympathy was 68%,
and the participation of all countries / regions and the fair selection of athletes
On the other hand,
only 20% of the respondents answered that the audience
venue was indispensable, and
only 12% of the events such as the opening and closing ceremony and the torch relay, and
many competition groups thought that it was unavoidable to limit the audience and reduce the number of events. It became clear that.
The government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and the Organizing Committee will be asked how much they can gain the understanding of the people by advancing measures against corona in the remaining six months.
“Lack of practical experience” close to 90%
In addition, a questionnaire survey revealed that nearly 90% of the organizations had insufficient experience in actual battles, and as the tournament was canceled one after another, the fact that the players were not strengthened was not progressing.
When asked about the impact of the new coronavirus on athletes,
▽ lack of practical experience amounted to 88%,
▽ lack of practice and delay in adjustment of 60%, which
is still strengthening even now when the tournament is approaching
months later. I found that it wasn't going as I expected.
48% of the groups answered that it was difficult to secure a practice place, and
it became clear that the parasports, which had been suffering from a shortage of practice places for some time, are in a more severe situation due to restrictions on the use of facilities. ..
In addition, when asked about the influence of public opinion's pros and cons on holding the tournament,
▽ "The holding is unclear and the players are worried" was the most common at 52%,
▽ "Training camps and tournaments were held. 32% said that it would be difficult to strengthen and strengthening would not progress,
and 28% said that it would be difficult to acquire sponsors, which would affect
management, indicating that there were many effects such as the mentality, strengthening and management of athletes. understood.
In each competition, specialists provide regular counseling to athletes, but in the remaining six months until the competition, we will secure training opportunities and practical experience to strengthen and eliminate the anxiety of athletes. Is an issue.
Para-dedicated facility Corona For medical treatment facilities for mildly ill patients
The sports facility "Para Arena" in Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo was established by the Nippon Foundation three years ago to strengthen the para competition for the Tokyo Paralympics, and is one of the few facilities dedicated to para in Japan.
The showers and lockers are also barrier-free and equipped with training equipment, so various competitions, from boccia played by players with relatively severe disabilities to powerlifting, were the base for practice.
In addition, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball used this facility frequently because they may be refused access to general gymnasiums due to scratches on the floor.
However, due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection, it was diverted to a medical facility for mildly ill patients, and since March last year it has become unusable as a training base.
At one point, 100 beds were installed in the gymnasium along with many partitions, and 14 prefabricated buildings are still lined up in the adjacent parking lot, and patients with mild or asymptomatic symptoms are admitted.
As the epidemic of the new coronavirus continues, athletes have been working on strengthening for nearly a year without using major training bases.
Powerlifting strengthening base becomes a temporary medical treatment facility
Athletes aiming for the Tokyo Paralympics have been greatly affected by the effects of the new coronavirus, such as losing practice space and reducing motivation.
Of these, powerlifting performed by athletes with disabilities such as legs was diverted to a temporary medical facility for mildly ill patients with the new coronavirus last spring at a gymnasium dedicated to para-competition in Tokyo, which was a base for strengthening.
Kazuki Okuyama (23), a 65-kilometer male player who was practicing based in this gymnasium, broke the Japanese record in February last year and lost his practice place as soon as he aimed for the Tokyo Paralympics in earnest.
After that, Okuyama was forced to practice at home using ordinary dumbbells and iron pipes that he bought at a home improvement store.
Powerlifting is an individual competition, but because it is essential to compete with rivals and receive guidance from specialized coaches for strengthening, Okuyama also lost about 20 kg of barbell weight that can be raised at one time. ..
For this reason, the competition group has put in place a mechanism for athletes nationwide to post training videos on SNS so that athletes can check the videos of their rivals and receive advice from the coaches who watched the videos.
In the training that Okuyama performed in Tokyo this month, the staff of the competition group shot and posted how to raise the barbell from various angles, and Okuyama posted the improvement points of the form received from the coach who saw the video in the UK. I was telling the players.
As a result of these efforts, Okuyama broke his own Japanese record by 10 kilometers in about four months after resuming practice, and young players who utilized the video posting mechanism at the All Japan Championship held last month also increased the record. about it.
Okuyama said, "I was at a loss when I couldn't use the practice area, and when I resumed practice, I was disappointed because I was told the words I didn't want to say,'I'm thinner than before.' The coach who saw it gives me accurate points as if I was watching it nearby, and the videos of other players are also inspiring, so I rely on it so much that I think I can not be strong without a smartphone. " It was.
Susumu Yoshida, Chairman of the Japan Para Powerlifting Federation, said, "I was in trouble because I couldn't get together and practice, but it was very effective to use online as a countermeasure for this competition. I think that a country that has been given a good environment will become stronger, so I would like to continue to devise it in the future. "
Dense is inevitable Judo for the visually impaired
Due to the nature of the competition, some Paralympic games are inevitably in a dense state and there is a high risk of infection, and the lack of training and practical experience of athletes is an issue.
In judo, all the athletes are visually impaired, so the match is played in a state where they are combined with each other, and even in practice, the contact between athletes increases, and a close condition is inevitable.
In addition, because of the visual impairment, there are many opportunities to touch surrounding objects with hands, which inevitably increases the risk of infection.
For this reason, the Japan Judo Federation for the Visually Impaired has canceled the activities and competitions of its representatives at the end of the training camp in March last year in order to avoid infection of athletes.
Under these circumstances, Yui Fujiwara (28), who is aiming to participate in the Tokyo Paralympics in the women's 52 kg class, is also facing a lack of practice and practical experience.
Last year, when the infection spread, practice with the other party was prohibited, and the practice time was limited to less than one hour, so there was no choice but to do strength training at home.
At one point, training from the local Gifu prefecture to outside the prefecture was also prohibited, so I couldn't find a training partner, and I couldn't practice in the actual battle format.
In response to this situation, the federation reopened the training camp in Shiga prefecture for the first time in about a year this month after thoroughly taking measures against infection, and four female athletes participated.
At the training camp,
underwent PCR tests, and then took
measures against infection,
measuring the temperature before entering the dojo
disinfecting the athletes' limbs, face, and tatami mats during practice
The federation will continue to hold training camps in each region to reduce the risk of infection due to movement.
Fujiwara said, "Usually there was a lot of practice and training for one person, and there were some lonely parts, so I had to overcome it by myself even when it was difficult. At the training camp, I worked with the players who are sharply polishing the surroundings. It was a meaningful time for me to practice. "
Risk of aggravation Some athletes are restricted in practice
Many athletes aiming for the Tokyo Paralympics are restricted from practicing because if they are infected with the new coronavirus, they may become seriously ill due to their disability.
One of them is Yuriko Fujii (48), who has won a silver medal at the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics and Boccia groups and has been appointed as the representative of the Tokyo Paralympics.
Fujii had a cerebral palsy disorder and was worried that the infection would make him more serious, so he refrained from going out as much as possible when the infection spread last year.
According to experts, some athletes with disorders such as cerebral palsy have weak respiratory functions, and once infected, the virus is less likely to be excreted from the lungs, so it tends to become more severe.
Fujii's practice was forced to be severely restricted, such as laying a sheet on the front door of his house and throwing the ball.
The training camp for the national team scheduled at the National Training Center in Tokyo was also canceled for half a year, and even after resuming last fall, Fujii gave up going to Tokyo from his home in Toyama and practiced at the local gymnasium. I had no choice but to do so.
Since there are such athletes all over the country, the Japan Boccia Association has requested the cooperation of the athletes' hometowns and local governments that are host towns, and has begun efforts to establish new practice bases in five locations nationwide.
Of these, Fujii's hometown, Uozu City, Toyama Prefecture, will have a new boccia court in a corner of the gymnasium as early as next month, and the person in charge confirmed the site.
The gymnasium that Fujii is currently practicing has been used in other competitions for many years, and the floor has scratches and irregularities that affect the rolling of the ball.
The newly developed exclusive court uses special flooring materials that are also used in the Paralympic Games, and the practice environment is significantly improved because the athletes do not have to go far to practice.
Fujii said, "I was worried that there was a high risk of serious illness, which made it difficult to participate in training camps in Tokyo and Osaka, but if the local area becomes a new base, there is a possibility of contact with people. You don't have to use transportation and you can practice with peace of mind. Since the same court as the actual Paralympic Games is used, I am grateful that the confirmation of how the ball rolls and how it bounces will be closer to the actual battle. "
Hiroaki Masaji, Chief of the Lifelong Learning and Sports Division of the Uozu City Board of Education, said, "I want Fujii to do his best with this base as his base. The city also promotes health through bochas that can be used by citizens of all ages, from children to the elderly. I want to make it a base. "