POSTED: Wednesday September 12th 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tokyo 2020 Forges Ahead with Plan, Inspired by Success of London Paralympic Games
Tokyo, 12 September 2012 - Japanese Paralympians today unanimously pledged their further support for Tokyo's effort to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020 following the conclusion of the highly successful London 2012 Paralympic Games. The outpouring of support and interest in the Games in Japan was highly visible, including daily prime time coverage on nationwide television networks. The Paralympic Games paid tribute to sport's ability to empower people to overcome challenges and difficulties, a universally inspiring theme that is showcased prominently in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games plans.
Shingo Kunieda, men's single wheelchair tennis gold medallist, said: "As an athlete, it really felt great to be out there since the atmosphere was simply amazing throughout the competition. The Paralympics is gradually gaining more popularity in Japan, and I'm positive excitement will permeate our entire country if we were to host the Games in the future. If Tokyo hosts the Olympic and Paralympics, it will be great as the city will become more barrier-free and the awareness level of the sports for the disabled will increase dramatically. Hosting the Games will be beneficial for everyone."
Wakako Tsuchida, who sealed 5th place in the women's marathon (T54), said: "Although I fell during the marathon, I never gave up. I wasn't able to produce the best results, but it meant a lot to me to finish the race, as so many people including my family gave me so much support up to the Games. I am positive Tokyo will become more barrier free if it were to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and it will be a good occasion for everyone including children to get to know about the Paralympics more. I definitely would like to see Tokyo host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games."
A total of 4,280 Paralympian athletes from 164 countries produced an impressive body of performances in London, with a record 2.7 million tickets sold and an estimated four billion people having watched broadcasts of the competitions. The London 2012 Paralympic Games was the largest spectacle of its type in history, clear proof that sport for the disabled continues to gain popularity.
Masato Mizuno, Tokyo 2020 CEO and Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) Vice President, said: "The 12-day London Paralympic Games were a huge success and we enjoyed every moment. The level of competition that our athletes displayed was truly inspiring. We are more enthusiastic than ever about bringing the Games to Tokyo in 2020. The London Games have raised the bar for the Olympic Movement, so Tokyo will spare no effort in reaching for an even higher level of achievement."
Japanese Paralympians passed several milestones during the London 2012 Paralympic Games, including the country's first-ever team gold, courtesy of the women's goalball team. Also, Shingo Kunieda became the first Paralympian to win consecutive gold medals in men's singles wheelchair tennis. The Japan's Paralympic Team participated in 17 events and earned 16 medals.
Tokyo 2020's commitment to stage the Paralympic Games in the heart of the world's most forward-thinking city has been supported by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's initiatives to build a barrier-free city, promote sports for the disabled and raise awareness of Paralympic athletic events. Tokyo 2020 is working closely with the Japan Paralympic Committee to ensure that the 2020 Bid Plan maximises convenience, accessibility and comfort for all Paralympians and spectators of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
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Name: Masa Takaya
Organization: Tokyo 2020 Olympic Bid
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