The Road to Tokyo: A week in quotes

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Athletes around the world have been busily preparing themselves with less than six months 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 gathering pace.

Jenny Simpson: Being her best self

詹妮·辛普森在2016年里约奥运会获得铜牌后庆祝 (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
詹妮·辛普森在2016年里约奥运会获得铜牌后庆祝 (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
2016 Getty Images

I experienced it all, I had the surprises, I had the anticipated victories…and I also had the real surprise tragedies.

Jenny Simpson has gone through all the ups and downs in a career that has spanned 14 years from losing a shoe at World Championships to an Olympic bronze medal at Rio 2016. The American runner speaks about it all plus why Tokyo 2020 will be extra important during an interview on the Olympic Channel podcast.

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Kevin Nguyen: ‘Shooting has given me a lot of purpose in life’

Kevin Nguyen (centre) celebrating his Lima 2019 Parapan Am Games gold medal in the mixed 50m rifle prone SH1
Kevin Nguyen (centre) celebrating his Lima 2019 Parapan Am Games gold medal in the mixed 50m rifle prone SH1
ⒸLima 2019

It has given me a lot of purpose in my life and having new team members has given me a new outlook on life mentally and physically.

During a foot patrol with the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team in Afghanistan, US Para athlete Kevin Nguyen stepped on an improvised explosive device which would result in the amputation of his leg. Not long after, he discovered Para shooting, and is now aiming to compete at the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

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Alex Dujshebaev: From World Championship bronze to following in the footsteps of an Olympic legend

Alex Dujshebaev of Spain celebrates after scoring a goal during the 2018 Men's Handball European Championship final against Sweden (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Alex Dujshebaev of Spain celebrates after scoring a goal during the 2018 Men's Handball European Championship final against Sweden (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
2018 Getty Images

We'd be lying ourselves if we said we aren't dreaming of winning the gold medal in Tokyo.

When Alex Dujshebaev and younger brother Dani step out onto Yoyogi National Stadium, they will be following in the footsteps of their fathers, Barcelona 1992 Olympic Handball gold medallist Talant Dujshebaev. And after clinching bronze at the 2021 World Championships in Egypt last month, they are aiming for top prize at Tokyo 2020.

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Ariane Fortin: The Canadian world champ taking Korean women’s boxing to their first Olympics

They are the first women to qualify for the Olympics for their country. It's huge.

I mean, of course, it's going to be stressful for them, but hopefully I can contribute to making that better.

A double world champion and Rio 2016 Olympian Ariane Fortin is lending her wisdom and expertise in her new role as the first female and first foreign coach of the Republic of Korea national boxing team. It's been 33 year since the Asian nation won Olympic gold in the sport of boxing but with Tokyo 2020 on the horizon, the prospects of the women’s team look positive. Fortin spoke to Tokyo 2020 about the reason she joined the Korean national team, her experiences of coaching the athletes and the lessons she learnt from a thrilling career at the highest levels of boxing.

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WU Jingyu: Discovering the unknown with bravery

Wu Jingyu of People's Republic of China (R) competes against Brigitte Yague Enrique of Spain during the Women's -49kg Taekwondo Final match at the London 2012 Olympic Games (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
Wu Jingyu of People's Republic of China (R) competes against Brigitte Yague Enrique of Spain during the Women's -49kg Taekwondo Final match at the London 2012 Olympic Games (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
2012 Getty Images

The moment I decided to come back, my goal has been Tokyo 2020.

If WU Jingyu steps out on the mats at Tokyo 2020, she will be making history by competing in her fourth Olympic Games. A back-to-back Olympic champion in taekwondo, the 34-year-old came out of retirement in 2019 after the birth of her daughter. Wu spoke exclusively to Tokyo 2020 about why she returned to taekwondo, the challenges she has faced training during the COVID-19 pandemic and her experience as a mum.

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Back to the podium for the Australian Rollers

Jannik Blair of Australia warms up prior to the Wheelchair Basketball World Challenge Cup match against Turkey in 2017  (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)
Jannik Blair of Australia warms up prior to the Wheelchair Basketball World Challenge Cup match against Turkey in 2017 (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)
2017 Getty Images

It gives you chills just thinking about the prospect of winning.

I'm looking forward to the challenge.

After a disappointing finish at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Australia's men's wheelchair basketball team is aiming to return to the podium but it won't be without its challenges. Veteran team member Jannik Blair spoke to Tokyo 2020 from his base in Spain, where he plays in the national league.

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KOIKE Yuki: The quest for a world title

Koike will continue running toward his ultimate goal of winning a world title
Koike will continue running toward his ultimate goal of winning a world title

I felt a sense of regret before anything.

When I looked at the scoreboard, I couldn’t find my name in third place, and I felt my spirits sinking way down.

KOIKE Yuki was just the third Japanese sprinter to break the 10-second barrier when he clocked a 9.98 at the IAAF Diamond League London Grand Prix. However, despite the result being labelled an 'extraordinary achievement', the sprinter felt awkward. But now, Koike is aiming for bigger and better than just breaking times - he wants a world championship title.

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