Swimming] Takayuki Suzuki (34)
Japan’s first gold medal in para-record-breaking hot swim!
Men’s 100m freestyle gold medal
Silver medal in men’s 200m freestyle
Silver medal in men’s 50m freestyle
Bronze, Men’s 150m Individual Medley
Bronze medal in men’s 50m breaststroke
The Changing Significance of the Games and the Potential of the Athletes
“The Paralympic athletes are all willing to expose their handicaps to the public. That’s why so many of them are so positive. Including me!
So said Keiichi Kimura (31), a swimmer who won his first gold medal in his fourth appearance at the Paralympics.
When I interviewed Paralympians, many of them spoke positively, and they are actually making a difference in society. Misato Michishita, 44, who won the gold medal in the women’s marathon on the final day of the Tokyo 2020 Games, uses Ohori Park in Fukuoka City as her training base, but when she first started running, many people were suspicious of Michishita running with a guide runner.
When she first started running, many people were suspicious of Michishita running with a guide runner, but now the locals have started to send her words of encouragement. It may not have been her intention, but by running, she has promoted the realization of a symbiotic society.
In fact, the Paralympic Games are also changing. In the past, the Paralympic Games were often discussed in the context of welfare, but now there are some games that can be used as entertainment.
Men’s wheelchair basketball, in particular, is full of thrills with its seesaw games. Japan finished ninth in Rio de Janeiro, but this year they were second to none in terms of shooting accuracy, speed, and tactics, and put up a rich fight in the semifinals against Great Britain and the final against the United States, which they lost.
In particular, I was blown away by the performance of the number 2 player, Renshi Chokai (22), who has gained a reputation on social media for his resemblance to Kaede Nagarekawa, one of the characters in SLAM DUNK. The way he made a series of big plays without changing his expression was just cool. In particular, his skill in grabbing offensive rebounds was always awe-inspiring.
Before he knew it, he was in position under the goal and grabbing the rebound. This skill was also demonstrated in the game against the U.S., which has players with long arms. Toriumi, who was not enough of a force at the Rio Games, has become a player that fascinates the world after five years, and I am not looking forward to Paris in three years.
The Paralympic Games have attracted so much interest, but with the closing of the Games, the athletes are facing a problem. There is a possibility that gymnasiums and other facilities where athletes can practice will be closed. The development of infrastructure for the disabled would be an asset for Japan, which is facing a super-aging society. ……
Kimura, who finally won a gold medal this time, said, “When I walk down the street in Japan, I see people with disabilities.
“When I walk around the streets of Japan, I feel that there is no room for relaxation. Everyone seems to be in a hurry. Also, many people seem to think that people around them might think they are trying to be cool when they help. Americans are like, “How about that? I’m cool, right? They help me out, and it’s fun. I would like to see a society where people have more time to spare in many ways.
Swimming] Miyuki Yamada (15)
Silver medal in women’s 100m backstroke
Silver medal in women’s 50m backstroke
Swimming] Keiichi Kimura (31)
Swimming] Uchu Tomita (32)
Keiichi Kimura (photo left)
Men’s 100m Butterfly Gold medal
Men’s 100m Breaststroke Silver medal
Uchu Tomita (Right photo)
Silver medal, Men’s 100m Butterfly
Silver medal, Men’s 400m Freestyle
Bronze medal, Men’s 200m Individual Medley
Athletics] Tomoki Sato (32)
Gold medal in men’s 1500m
Gold medal in men’s 400m
Athletics] Atsushi Yamamoto (39)
Men’s long jump, 4th place
Triathlon] Hideo Uda (34)
Men’s individual silver medal
Athletics] MISATO MICHISHITA (44)
Women’s marathon gold medal
Basketball] Men’s Wheelchair Basketball
Boccia] Hidetaka Sugimura (39)
Gold medal, mixed individual
Mixed team bronze medal
Rugby] Wheelchair Rugby
Tennis] Shingo Kunieda (37)
Men’s singles gold medal
Tennis] Yui Kamiji (27)
Women’s Singles Silver medal
Women’s doubles bronze medal
Yoshiko Sugiura (50) [Cycling (Road)
Women’s road race gold medal
Women’s time trial gold medal
Badminton] Sarina Satomi (23)
Women’s Singles Gold medal
Women’s doubles gold medal
From “FRIDAY” October 1, 2021 issue
Text： Jun Ikushima (sports journalist) Photographs： Afro, Kyodo News, Jiji Press, Yomiuri Shimbun