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  • Tokyo Celebrates One Year Until Paralympics


    Markus Rehm. (Tokyo 2020)
    (ATR) Roughly 25,000 spectators attended Tokyo 2020’s one year to go event in Yoyogi Park, venue of the 1964 Paralympics, on Sunday with several sport demonstrations by leading Paralympians.

    Tokyo will make history in 2020, becoming the first city to host two Paralympic Summer Games.

    In 1964 Tokyo hosted the second edition of the Games.

    “Precisely because Tokyo will be hosting for the second time, we have held to an important principle, and that is to expend all our power – equal to the Olympic Games – in making the Paralympic Games a great success,” said Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori.

    On Saturday, thousands of people attended “Let’s 55”, a sports try-out event at Sumida City Gymnasium.

    They were able to spend the day as an athlete, sampling 15 Paralympic sports along with meeting Japanese and international Paralympians.

    Two-time Paralympic gold medalist Markus Rehm of Germany set an unofficial world record at 8.50m in the men’s long jump T64 on Sunday.

    “I was able to jump so far today because of your support, so I hope you all will come to the Paralympic Games next year because it's going to be amazing, incredible performances,” Rehm said.
    Paralympic medals. (Tokyo 2020)

    The “One Year To Go” ceremony took place at NHK Hall on Sunday with the unveiling of the Paralympic medals and Torch Relay torchbearer uniform designs.

    Similar to the Olympic Games medals, the Paralympic medals are made from recycled metals donated by the public.
    The medals design is centered around a traditional Japanese fan with the kaname, or pivot point, holding all parts of the fan together.

    The design represents Para athletes uniting people together regardless of nationality or ethnicity.
    On the face of the medal, Braille letters spell out Tokyo 2020.

    For the first time in Paralympic history, circular indentations have been placed on the side of the medals to help paralympians with vision impairments distinguish medals.
    Torch Relay torchbearer uniforms. (Tokyo 2020)

    The Paralympic Torch Relay torchbearer uniforms design was formed from the relay’s “Share Your Light” concept.
    While incorporating the core Tokyo 2020 design, the uniforms will demonstrate the new partnerships between humans, and between humans and society.

    Flames will be lit separately across each of Japan’s 47 prefectures in addition to Stoke Mandeville, the origin of the Paralympic Movement.

    The flames will then combine as one in Tokyo before the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

    International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons tells Around the Rings,

    “What we want to do is maximize the reach of the Paralympic Games. The legacy of the Paralympic Games, and the positive effect it might have on Japanese society.”

    Homepage Photo Credit: Tokyo 2020

    Written by Greer Wilson.

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