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Tokyo 2020 report on Paralympic Games preparation status at Athlete Meeting

28 October 2020

Following postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee) has been sharing the latest developments in preparation of the event and exchanging ideas with stakeholders through meetings and webinars.

As part of ongoing communication efforts, on 16 October 2020, a JPC Athlete Meeting organised by the Japanese Paralympic Committee (JPC) was held for the first time and welcomed 75 participants (including athletes and staff). During the meeting, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee shared information regarding the state of preparations of the Games and provided time to exchange opinions.

Sharing the preparatory status of the Games and exchanging views directly with the Para athletes

Games Delivery Officer (GDO) NAKAMURA Hidemasa and Sports Director (SD) KOTANI Mikako from the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and Paralympic Games Officer (PGO) NAKAMINAMI Hisashi were in attendance to explain the current state of preparations and provide an overview of the simplified Games.

Concerning the simplification of the Tokyo 2020 Games, it was relayed that it pertains to eliminating any unnecessary aspects at an organisational level and will not affect the sports or athletes. In regards to the Paralympics and COVID-19 countermeasures, it was expressed that the policy is to make considerations based on the individual Para athlete’s situation and necessities.

After the explanations provided by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, questions were raised by the athletes, including concerns about travel and the necessary requirements for international athletes entering Japan. The direction of discussions at the COVID-19 countermeasures coordination meeting with the Government of Japan and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government was conveyed, and it was also shared that participation without undergoing a 14-day isolation period is under consideration.

In addition to concerns over COVID-19 countermeasures, questions were raised regarding the unique characteristic of 'class allocation' within Paralympic sports, to which a reply was given that heading into next year’s event, further considerations will be made to examine class allocation opportunities from the athlete’s viewpoint, in coordination with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and International Federations (IF).

Para athletics high jump T64 athlete SUZUKI Toru (JPC Athletes’ Commission Secretary) participated in the JPC Athlete Meeting and said: "Through the exchange of information between sports, I was able to understand the difficulties of staying motivated with so many games and tournaments cancelled this year. Being able to receive details from the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee about ongoing preparations of the Tokyo 2020 Games and COVID-19 countermeasures has been invaluable."

He continued: "I received an impassioned message from Sports Director Kotani to work together to ensure that the Games can be held in 2021. As an athlete, I want to make my contribution and work hand-in-hand with sports federations and the JPC to see it come to fruition."

This JPC Athlete Meeting provided an invaluable opportunity to exchange thoughts directly with the Para-athletes. The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee would like to continue working with athletes, sports federations, and the JPC, and keep providing opportunities to share information and exchange ideas. With ongoing communication to overcome challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, continuous efforts will be made to organise an event where athletes feel safe to participate.

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