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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 August 25 - 31  > Opening of Games amid pandemic conflicts with Paralympic movement’s ideals
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2021 August 25 - 31 [POLITICS]

Opening of Games amid pandemic conflicts with Paralympic movement’s ideals

August 25, 2021

Akahata ‘current’ column

The Paralympics, a sports festival for people with disabilities, cherish the “four values” of determination, equality, inspiration, and courage.

Paralympic athletes through their performances embody the infinite human potential, a display of the celebration of humanity and the radiance of life.

However, behind the festival in Tokyo, many lives have been lost due to an explosion of novel coronavirus infections. The number of severe cases has been increasing in accordance with a rise in the number of infected people. Tokyo sees a record number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Under this circumstance, some infected people who are forced to recuperate at home due to a shortage of hospital beds have died.

Although Tokyo’s medical system is on the brink of collapse under which many COVID patients are unable to get medical attention, the sports festival, which brings thousands of athletes from across the globe to Japan, takes place with the mobilization of tens of thousands of people, including 270 doctors and nurses assigned to the event each day. Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko have reiterated that they will make all-out efforts to tackle the pandemic. If this is true, they should take immediate action to resolve the issue in which many lives which could have been saved are not saved.

One of the Paralympic movement ideals is to create a society of coexistence where individual lives are valued. The forcible opening of the Games under a situation which runs counter to this ideal is highly controversial.

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