The Road to Tokyo: A week in quotes 

Ruben Limardo Gascon of Venezuela celebrates after beating Max Heinzer of Switzerland in the Men's Individual Epee round of 16 match at the London 2012 Olympic Games (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
Ruben Limardo Gascon of Venezuela celebrates after beating Max Heinzer of Switzerland in the Men's Individual Epee round of 16 match at the London 2012 Olympic Games (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Athletes around the world have been busily preparing themselves with less than a year to go until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Tokyo 2020 has been speaking to several athletes whose journey to the Olympic and Paralympic Games is slowly gathering pace.

Elliot Hanson: With a little help from his friends 

Elliot Hanson of Great Britain competes in the Laser during the 2016 ISAF Sailing World Cup (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
Elliot Hanson of Great Britain competes in the Laser during the 2016 ISAF Sailing World Cup (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
2016 Getty Images

It's just harder to keep pushing when there's no-one beating you.

Team GB's new golden generation of sailors locked out the podium at October's Laser class European Championships, with Elliot Hanson taking top spot. Tokyo 2020 talked to the Olympic-bound athlete about how friendly competition with his teammates has driven him to new heights in time for next year's Games. 

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Tokyo 2020 Recovery Monuments: A symbol of hope 

Messages from Tohoku students were framed in the Tokyo 2020 Recovery monuments
Messages from Tohoku students were framed in the Tokyo 2020 Recovery monuments

It was an emotional experience for me to take part in such an important project for the first time in my life - OKA Tsukushi

Tokyo 2020 spoke to the students from Tokyo University of Arts (Geidai) were involved in the production of the Tokyo 2020 Recovery Monuments - which will serve as a symbol of hope for the Tohoku people who were affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake in Japan whilst at the same time inspire the athletes who will compete at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

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YUI Maori: Enjoying the freedom in water

Para swimmer Yui Maori intends to get her spot at Tokyo 2020 and race into the finals
Para swimmer Yui Maori intends to get her spot at Tokyo 2020 and race into the finals

I hope the impact of Tokyo 2020 will extend beyond the Games and help make society a better place for people with impairments.

Japanese para swimmer talked about her fascination for swimming and how she is eyeing a spot at Tokyo 2020 to inspire a future generation of Paralympians.

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Molly Seidel: Olympian and 'world’s fastest turkey'

Molly Seidel reacts as she crosses the finish line in second play during the Women's U.S. Olympic marathon team trials on 29 February 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Molly Seidel reacts as she crosses the finish line in second play during the Women's U.S. Olympic marathon team trials on 29 February 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
2020 Getty Images

I would always wear this turkey costume going out and doing different races and then I signed pro and obviously couldn’t do that anymore.

But the turkey rises again!

Team USA's Molly Seidel took on a unique Thanksgiving challenge when she attempted to write her name into the history books as the 'world's fastest turkey'. The Tokyo-bound Olympian ran a virtual 10K race dressed head-to-toe in a turkey suit. Did she manage to achieve her goal?

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Clancy and Artacho del Solar: A new class of beach volleyball

Taliqua Clancy of Australia believes there is something special brewing in her combination with partner Mariafe Artacho Del Solar
Taliqua Clancy of Australia believes there is something special brewing in her combination with partner Mariafe Artacho Del Solar
© FIVB

I think we've got a really great chemistry on the court. We trust each other a lot.

The success of Australia’s beach volleyball duo of Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar continue to grow after their multiple victories in the past two years. Now there are hopes that they might reach top podium at Tokyo 2020 and end the country's Olympic medal drought in beach volleyball.

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HORIKAWA Hiroyuki: Just a tiny step will change the world

HORIKAWA Hiroyuki will assist with the issuing and management of accreditation cards as a Field Cast member (Games volunteer)
HORIKAWA Hiroyuki will assist with the issuing and management of accreditation cards as a Field Cast member (Games volunteer)

It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to welcome the Games to Japan.

On 3 December as part of the celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Tokyo 2020 spoke with HORIKAWA Hiroyuki, a Field Cast member (Games volunteer) who became paraplegic following a 2012 traffic accident, about what it means to take part at an Olympic Games on home soil.

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Ruben Limardo: Olympic fencing champion and food delivery person

Ruben Limardo after winning the Pan American Games at Lima 2019.
Ruben Limardo after winning the Pan American Games at Lima 2019.
2019 Getty Images

This job motivates me because it teaches me to keep on fighting, to keep holding on and to move forward.

Venezuela's fencing Olympic champ is now stationed in Poland training for the Olympic Games whilst juggling another job delivering food as a new way to make money.

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Jessica Klimkait: "This is the road and path I want to take"

Canadian judoka Jessica Klimkait has won three Grand Slams in total and is now preparing to secure a slot for Tokyo 2020
Canadian judoka Jessica Klimkait has won three Grand Slams in total and is now preparing to secure a slot for Tokyo 2020
Photo by Rafal Burza

I knew that I was going to keep doing judo and I knew I wanted to pursue that. And I've sort of accepted that and I'm beyond happy with that choice today.

Canadian judoka and world No 1 Jessica Klimkait (-57kg) intends to land her spot at Tokyo 2020 but she must first battle it out with world No 2 (and former world no 1) Christa Deguchi in a series of fights to determine who will represent Canada at the Games next year.

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Sports Director KOTANI Mikako: We will implement specific measures to ensure safety and protection at Tokyo 2020

KOTANI Mikako is the Sports Director of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
KOTANI Mikako is the Sports Director of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
Tokyo 2020

With regards to the measures we will implement, we must do everything we possibly can.

KOTANI Mikako is the Sports Director of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020). A two-time Olympic bronze medallist in the solo and the duet synchronised swimming (now referred to as ‘artistic’ swimming) at the Seoul 1988 Games, Kotani shared her thoughts on how Tokyo 2020 will deliver a safe Games for everyone.

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