Next Summer Games aiming to be a ‘catalyst for change’20 Oct 2017
Tokyo 2020's Toshiro Muto (L) and IPC Chief Executive Xavier Gonzalez at the closing of the Project Review
ⒸTokyo 2020 / Shugo TAKEMI
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) completed its fourth Project Review with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee this week (19-20 October) with the two parties agreeing to focus on defining the Paralympic legacy in the coming months.
During the two-day meeting, Tokyo 2020 updated the IPC on progress and preparations in multiple functional areas. The IPC also visited a number of venues including the Paralympic Village and hotels in the city centre.
Overall the IPC was extremely pleased with the progress made by the Organising Committee since the last Project Review that was held in May.
Xavier Gonzalez, the IPC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), said: “Once again we leave this city greatly impressed and encouraged at the progress the Organising Committee has made since our last meeting. Tokyo 2020 continues to raise the bar in terms of planning and preparation.
“Since May we have witnessed great progress in communications and engagement, construction of the Paralympic Village and seen unprecedented support from commercial partners.
“With less than three years to go awareness of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games is at a much higher level than any previous edition of the Games. The next step as we get closer to the Opening Ceremony is to transform awareness levels into engagement as the Organising Committee looks to maximise ticket sales and TV audiences.”
One main topic of discussion during the Project Review was about measuring the impact and legacy of the Paralympic Games. Over the coming months Tokyo 2020 and the IPC will work together to develop a framework for how both soft and hard legacy will be captured and communicated.
Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said: “Tokyo 2020 proposed during this project review that in conjunction with the IPC, we would seek a new framework with which to measure the impact on Japanese society of Tokyo hosting the Paralympic Games – a framework that provides the means to measure and analyse both their tangible and intangible legacy.
“In our view, the significance of hosting the Paralympic Games derives from the changes they bring to society. Finding ways to analyse such changes will become important in our future communications.
“On November 29 we mark a key milestone – on that day it will be 1,000 days until the kick-off of the Paralympic Games. This means we are entering into a phase where in order to ensure a successful Games it will be vital to deepen public understanding of, and their engagement in, the Paralympic Movement.
“Tokyo 2020 will continue to work closely with the IPC while remaining committed to making every effort in our preparations for the Games, ensuring their successful delivery and contributing to the further advancement of the Paralympic Movement.”
Gonzalez added: “There is no doubt that the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will be a catalyst for social change in this city and country, making it more inclusive not just for those who live here, but also for visitors.”
The IPC’s new President Andrew Parsons was also in Tokyo this week and attended Thursday’s Opening Plenary of the Project Review. Together with former IPC President Sir Philip Craven he held a number of fruitful meetings with key stakeholders including Tokyo’s Governor Koike.
He also attended an I’mPOSSIBLE education session at Akasaka Elementary School. I’mPOSSIBLE is the IPC’s education initiative and during the visit Parsons donned a blindfold and played goalball with the students.
Parsons also met with representatives from Toyota, Panasonic, Asics, Dentsu, NHK and WOWOW during his time in the Japanese capital.