TOKYO – Japan on Monday marked one year to go until the opening ceremony of the delayed Paralympic Games in Tokyo though the coronavirus pandemic has created uncertainty for the event.
“I believe Paralympic athletes are looking forward to the Paralympics one year from now as they have stepped up efforts over and over again,” Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike told reporters.
“While the major premise is to stem the spread of the coronavirus, I would like to ask everyone to support for the success of the Paralympics,” she said.
The Olympic host city has been struggling with a resurgence of the coronavirus since early July.
The International Olympic Committee and local organizers decided in late March to postpone the Tokyo Olympics and the Paralympics to summer 2021 because of the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
“Every time we hear the voices of para-athletes looking forward to next year’s Games, it gives us renewed strength to work for the Games’ success,” Tokyo Olympic organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said in a statement.
“I am convinced that one year from today, the performances of para-athletes from around the globe will have special value as a symbol of solidarity, and a demonstration of human strength and the power to persevere,” Mori said.
The delayed Paralympics are scheduled August 24 to September 5, 2021, while the postponed Tokyo Olympics are from July 23 to August 8.