The 24th Workshop

August 08, 2017
Theme: 2020 Paralympic Games: From Rio to Tokyo
Leandro Napolitano, Attaché, the Education Sector, Embassy of Brazil in Japan

At the Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games, the first Paralympic Games to be held in the Southern Hemisphere, 4,333 athletes participated from 160 teams, 220 world records and 432 Paralympic Games records were set, and some 25,000 volunteers supported the Games. The tangible legacies include moveable buildings, expansion of the rail network, establishment of the Brazilian Paralympic Centre, and the launch of financial partnerships. The intangible legacies include a new model for inclusion and the spread of the education program TRANSFORMA.

The Opening Ceremony, which coincided with the Independence Day of Brazil, celebrated the origins of Paralympic sport as well as Brazil's love for dance, music, sports, and marine sports, based on the theme "The heart knows no limits; everybody has a heart." At the Closing Ceremony, IPC President Sir Philip Craven awarded the people of Rio and Brazil the Paralympic Order in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the Paralympic movement. The IPC flag was handed to Governor Yuriko Koike of Tokyo, which will host the next Paralympic Games.

After the closing of the Rio Games, photograph exhibitions and cultural events for example, have continued to be organized in both Japan and Brazil, serving as a cultural bridge between the two countries. Sir Philip Craven remarked, "Marvellous Cariocas (people of Rio). You warmly embraced these Games and took the athletes to your hearts. You made the Paralympics your Games, the People's Games, and we will forever cherish our time spent with you."

Tokyo will be the host of the Olympic and Paralympic Games for the second time. I hope that the people of Tokyo, like the people of Rio, will welcome the peoples and cultures of the world with open arms. I firmly believe that Japan will exceed Rio's experience and show the world a superb environment full of energy, and a lively harmony.