The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) headquarters in Bonn welcomed two special guests from Tokyo on Friday (13 March).
Someity and Miraitowa, the Tokyo 2020 mascots, lit up the office as part of the promotion ‘Make the Beat!’- a cheering project to encourage sports enthusiasts from around the globe to join the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Germany’s former ace Para athlete and ten-time Paralympic medallist, Heinrich Popow also joined the project and performed to the 2020 Beat with the mascots at the Bundesstadt Bonn – Altes Rathaus.
“It was quite nice to be part of the Make the Beat tour, because it makes us feel that Tokyo 2020 is coming closer and it was nice to be next to Someity. Nice to involve the people and to have kids around. It was a great experience and I am happy to be a part of it,” said Popow, who is associated with Ottobock and is involved in athletes’ management.
Being a mentor to the athletes, Popow feels that his role has become even more tough and challenging.
“I am more nervous than I was before, because now I am in-charge of other athletes’ welfare and their success as well. I have a huge responsibility now and before I just had to worry about my own performance and goals,” said Popow.
Having competed in four Paralympic Games, from Athens 2004 to Rio 2016, where he conquered two gold medals, Popow is well aware of what it takes to be a champion athlete.
The preparations just before the Games is one of the toughest parts reveals Popow.
“My advise to the athletes’ is to be calm and continue training as normal to get the expected results.
“When the Paralympic Games come closer, as an athlete you try to do something special, but I think it is the biggest mistake we do. Just stay in the same training period, do the same and trust yourself.More importantly be happy and enjoy the process.”
The 2020 Beat routes continue for Someity and Miraitowa as they head to Athens London and Lausanne next.