International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons has said the safe delivery of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 has increased his excitement for the Paralympic Games but warned attending stakeholders to be vigilant and avoid complacency regarding COVID-19 countermeasures.
According to Parsons, the safe and successful delivery of the Olympic Games highlighted that the measures outlined in the Playbooks work.
“With the Olympic Games, Tokyo and Japan has shown to the world that a major global sport event can be delivered safely, giving the world a much-needed morale boost. For this achievement, I’d like to acknowledge the tireless work of Tokyo 2020, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese government and local authorities, and the IOC,” said Parsons. “The Games have proven that the COVID-19 countermeasures, which form the cornerstone of the Playbooks, work. This can only give us confidence as we gear up for the Paralympic Games.
“While it is encouraging that the Olympic Games were delivered safely and successfully, those attending the Paralympic Games should not get complacent. We cannot ignore the current case numbers in Japan and Tokyo, and I urge every single stakeholder for the Paralympic Games to be vigilant and follow all measures outlined in the Playbook. By doing this will we deliver safe Paralympic Games for all stakeholders, as well as the Japanese people.”
From 1 July to 8 August, the end of the Olympic Games, Tokyo 2020 and the Japanese government conducted a robust COVID-19 tests programme for the Games stakeholders. During this time, nearly 43,000 tests were conducted at the airport, and 37 people were found to be positive. Meanwhile, approximately 680,000 screening tests were conducted, and 163 stakeholders tested positive.
Parsons added: “With the Olympics now over, my excitement levels for the Paralympic Games are increasing by the minute, I just cannot wait to see 4,400 of the world’s greatest Para athletes take centrestage.
“During the transition period, we are working hand-in-hand with the Organising Committee to finalise several matters that are unique to the Paralympic Games.
“The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games have the potential to be a game-changer not just for Japan but the wider world, in particular the 1.2 billion persons with disabilities who make up 15 percent of the global population.
“Since Tokyo won the right to stage the Games in 2013, we have been working with the Organising Committee and authorities to ensure the Paralympics can be a catalyst for change, leaving a wonderful legacy. The I’mPOSSIBLE schools programme is just one such example, and I sincerely hope the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games have a positive impact on Japanese children as this will go some way to a more inclusive society for years to come.”
Around 4,400 athletes from close to 160 countries are expected to take part in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games which open on 24 August 2021.
Notes to the Editor
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. It co-ordinates the organisation of the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, and serves as the International Federation for 10 sports, for which it supervises and co-ordinates the World Championships and other competitions. The IPC’s vision is to enable Para athletes to achieve sporting excellence and inspire and excite the world.
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