Both Hopes, Concerns Voiced over Paralympics' Legacy

Sports Society Tokyo 2020

Tokyo, Sept. 5 (Jiji Press)--Japan is facing the challenge of turning people's interests in sports for athletes with disabilities that grew during the Tokyo Paralympics into a legacy toward the realization of an inclusive society.

Officials of the organizers of international competitions for disabled athletes, such as the Deaflympics, known as the Olympics for people with hearing difficulties, have voiced both expectations for positive ripple effects and concerns over the future of para sports.

The Paralympics, the Deaflympics and the Special Olympics, which is for people with intellectual disabilities, are competitions recognized officially by the International Olympic Committee.

According to a survey conducted by the Tokyo metropolitan government in 2020, however, only 5.2 pct of the respondents knew of the Deaflympics. The survey also found that the Special Olympics was known by 5.8 pct of the respondents, while 95.1 pct were familiar with the Paralympics.

"We wanted to make use of the chance (provided by the Paralympics) to draw public attention and support" for para sports, said Naoki Kurano, secretary-general of the sports committee of the Japanese Federation of the Deaf.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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