The 29th Workshop

April 12, 2018
: Pyeongchang Paralympic Games Report and Recommendations for the 2020 Tokyo Games

Kuniko Obinata, Hideki Arai and Shinsuke Sano (Moderator)

With just two years left until the 2020 Games, there was a real sense at Pyeongchang that the Games are now attracting the focus of the Japanese media.
There were good results in terms of sports, with Japan's national team winning a total of ten medals including three golds, but many issues still remain. The current trend among sports superpowers is to establish and operate residential sports training campuses. The situation in each country is undergoing changes, for example with some multi-talented athletes choosing to compete from among both summer and winter Games sports. What is needed in Japan are: improved training environments for Paralympians including the Japan Institute of Sports Sciences (JISS) and the National Training Center; sharing experiences with Olympic athletes; and further technological development. With respect to discovering new athletes, the search needs to be comprehensive not just with summer sports but also with winter sports.

In terms of the running of the Pyeongchang Games, there were differences in the level of volunteers. In addition, while some events were well attended by enthusiastic spectators from the host nation South Korea, there was a noticeable lack of spectators for less popular sports. Sports fans' numbers will need to be boosted by communicating how para sports can be interesting and exciting. Some of the issues raised for the lead-up to the Tokyo Games are: developing experience through organizing international sports competitions; effectively using former athletes; and training Games volunteers.

Just as the Nagano Winter Olympics had a significant effect later for Japan, what is achieved at the Tokyo Games will have a major impact long after 2020. Japan also plays a leading role in para sports in Asia. If we are to realize an inclusive society, it is time for us to determine the legacy that we want the Tokyo Games to leave behind, including for the Beijing Games.