The road to Tokyo 2020: A week in quotes

Long jumper Takada Chiaki has provisionally qualified for Tokyo 2020.  (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
Long jumper Takada Chiaki has provisionally qualified for Tokyo 2020. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)

Athletes around the world have been busying themselves in preparation for the resumption of live sport, with some nations allowing training complexes to open and others even giving the green light for competitive action to start.

In the past week, Tokyo 2020 has been celebrating One Year to Go until the Paralympic Games with athletes from across the globe sharing in their excitement as the countdown begins again.

IPC President Andrew Parsons: Be strong, we will be together in Tokyo in one year’s time

IPC President Andrew Parsons poses for photographs ahead of the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images for IPC)
IPC President Andrew Parsons poses for photographs ahead of the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images for IPC)
2018 Getty Images

When we are all together for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics and the Paralympics it will be a historic moment for humankind.

IPC President Andrew Parsons believes the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be the catalyst to "build a new world", a symbol that we have left the pandemic behind and a celebration of "sport and peace and brotherhood".

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SERYU Monika: Japan Paralympic star connecting beyond competitions

Monika Seryu during Women's canoe Sprint KL1 Semi-final of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Monika Seryu during Women's canoe Sprint KL1 Semi-final of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Tokyo 2020 / Shugo TAKEMI

My motto going forward is to do what I can now to the extent possible.

Japanese para canoeist Seryu Monika, who placed eight in Rio 2016, is using all her time during the stay-at-home period in her country not only to train but also to connect with her fans via social media.

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IWABUCHI Koyo: I will strive to win more than gold - I'll raise awareness of Para sports

Iwabuchi Koyo during Table Tennis Men's Singles of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Iwabuchi Koyo during Table Tennis Men's Singles of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Tokyo 2020 / Shugo TAKEMI

I will strive to put in a performance more than worthy of winning a gold medal to contribute to raising awareness of para sports.

IWABUCHI Koyo, the world’s number three-ranked Para table tennis player talks to Tokyo 2020 about his aspirations of taking the podium for next Summer and putting a spotlight on para sports in Japan.

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Anna Grimaldi: Turning a negative into a positive

(L-R) Yunidis Castillo of Cuba, Anna Grimaldi of New Zealand and Carlee Beattie of Australia pose on the medals podium after the ceremony for the women's long jump T47 at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(L-R) Yunidis Castillo of Cuba, Anna Grimaldi of New Zealand and Carlee Beattie of Australia pose on the medals podium after the ceremony for the women's long jump T47 at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
2016 Getty Images

I grew a lot as a person in the last three years, it kind of pushed me learn a lot more about myself and to explore those other parts of my life other than sport.

Anna Grimaldi unexpectedly won New Zealand's first medal of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games but less than a year later she was sideline with a stress fracture. However, the track and field star has learnt to turn her negative experiences into positives.

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TAKADA Chiaki aims to break world record long jump at Tokyo 2020

Takada Chiaki of Japan competes in Women's Long Jump - T11 at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
Takada Chiaki of Japan competes in Women's Long Jump - T11 at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
2016 Getty Images

My goal is to achieve good results at Tokyo 2020 next year.

Takada Chiaki has been competing in Para athletics for many years and is hoping that at Tokyo 2020 she will achieve the 'perfect flow of motions'.

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‘I am super-stoked’: Manasi Joshi on Para badminton making its debut in Tokyo next year

I am very happy that I am representing this sport and also representing India

Indian Para badminton, 31-year-old, Manasi Joshi is aiming to represent her country in the discipline which will make its debut at the Paralympic Games next year. Though the category (SL3) in which she had won gold last year at the Para World Championships is not included in the schedule programme, she has chalked out some plans on how she will reach Tokyo.

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Nicky Nieves: 'Mental health and sport go hand in hand'

Sitting volleyball player Nicky Nieves poses for a portrait during the Team USA Tokyo 2020 Olympics shoot (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Sitting volleyball player Nicky Nieves poses for a portrait during the Team USA Tokyo 2020 Olympics shoot (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
2019 Getty Images

It's okay to perform your skill differently and find out how to do it and for people to look at you because they do think you are inspirational.

Sitting volleyball player Nicky Nieves helped Team USA secure its first-ever gold medal in the sport. During an Instagram Live interview, she speaks about her mental health journey during the pandemic and how the team will defend their title in next year's Paralympic Games.

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Rising Phoenix star Ntando Mahlangu: Without the Paralympics, I wouldn’t be where I am today

Ntando Mahlangu of South Africa.
Ntando Mahlangu of South Africa.
Luc Percival Photography

I think it’s going to change a lot of people’s mindset on how they see the Paralympics and how they see disability.

Because a lot of people are not informed about the Paralympics, are not informed about disability

Ntando Mahlangu is a 200m World Champion, Paralympic silver medallist and now star of the new Netflix documentary Rising Phoenix. The Republic of South Africa sprinter is on a mission to change the way people with impairments are treated in his home continent. 

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TOMITA Uchu: Conveying the significance of the Paralympics

Merely being an athlete who can swim fast is not enough for me.

Unless I can help the public understand what it means to have an impairment and exert some kind of impact on society, it would be meaningless for me to be a Paralympian.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the world adjusting to the new 'normal' including athletes, who are continuing with their daily training routines ahead of the Paralympic Games. Among them is Japanese Para swimmer TOMITA Uchu who spoke to Tokyo 2020 about his aim of adding to his medal collection at the Games next year.

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