With just 50 days to go until opening of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Asian Paralympic Committee President Majid Rashed hopes that the Games will be one of the best ever, despite the challenges, saying that it will show the world the best of the Paralympic spirit and ‘what is possible with courage and determination’.
It is the fourth time that the summer Paralympic Games will be hosted in Asia, with Tokyo staging it for the second time. They first hosted the Games in 1964 alongside the 1964 Summer Olympic Games.
“Having these Games in our region is an honour and I’d like to thank everyone at the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and the IPC who have worked so very hard in very difficult circumstances to make sure that the Games can go ahead in the safest possible way,” said Rashed, who himself was an international level Para athlete and Para table tennis player.
Rashed admitted that the COVID-19 pandemic has made this Games one of the toughest ever but believes that these challenging times couldn’t deter the spirit of the athletes.
“In times such as these, it is important to have hope for the future. So, whilst we continue to pray for everyone who is affected by the pandemic, we are also looking forward to the Tokyo Paralympic Games with hope in our hearts.
‘Legacy for the region’
“I am confident that this Games will one of the best ever and the para-athletes will come out with strong performances and get their personal best records in Tokyo. We hope that all the Asian athletes can perform to their best and win more medals than ever before for our region.
“This Games will not just leave a legacy in our region, but show the world the Paralympic spirit and remind everyone of what is possible with courage and determination.”
The Tokyo 2020 Games will see the newest NPC from the region, Bhutan, represented by four para-athletes, including two female athletes.
“We are really very proud that one of our newest NPCs will be part of the Games. This shows that the Paralympic Movement is growing in the region. We hope that all the Asian athletes make each of these 50 days count as you get ready to represent your country and our region in Tokyo.
“I wish all the athletes the very best of luck with your final preparations. We are all behind you and know that you will make us proud,” added the APC President.