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Para athletes support Tokyo 2020 postponement

'Tokyo 2021 - definitely the right decision as in the current situation sport is not a priority' 24 Mar 2020
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SEE YOU NEXT YEAR: Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games postponed to 2021
ⒸTokyo 2020
By IPC

Para athletes worldwide have backed the move by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Rio Paralympic Games triple gold medallist and US swimming ace McKenzie Coan was amongst the first to react.

“At first, postponement was a tough word to hear and utter, but upon stepping back and looking at what’s happening to the world, we must realise that this decision is the only way to proceed,” Coan wrote on Instagram.

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To say that the last few days have been filled with pain and uncertainty for myself and athletes everywhere is an understatement. At first, postponement was a tough word to hear and utter, but upon stepping back and looking at what’s happening to the world, we must all realize that this decision is the only way to proceed. I fully stand by the IOC and the IPC for the decision to delay the Tokyo Games by one year. Though the journey to the dream looks a little different now, it doesn’t change the dream. We will push forward, unite together and come out stronger than ever before in Tokyo... in 2021. When the moment arrives, we will be more than ready to come together and light up the world. Until then, stay safe and keep dreaming 💗

A post shared by McKenzie Coan (@mckenzie_coan) on

 

Brazil’s most decorated Paralympian Daniel Dias, who has won a staggering 24 medals over three Paralympic Games, commended the move as a 'wise' one.

“Japan, see you in 2021! Thank you IOC for the wise decision. I feel more calm and motivated to participate in these Games in Tokyo, " tweeted the swimming ace in Portuguese.

British high-profile wheelchair fencer Gemma Collis McCann though felt heartbroken by the news, supported the move given the current scenario.

She tweeted: "As an athlete, it’s gutting for the Paralympics to be postponed until 2021. But despite all the hardwork that has gone into being ready for these Games, I’m so glad that the IOC and IPC along with the Japanese Organising Committee have done the right thing."

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As an athlete, it’s gutting for the Paralympics to be postponed until 2021. But despite all the hard work that has gone into being ready for this year, I am so glad the IOC and IPC along with the Japanese Organising Committee have done the right thing. 👏 . As athletes, we often focus on our sport to the exclusion of almost everything else. But this situation is simply SO much bigger than sport. . It’s our social and moral responsibility to do everything in our power to try and slow the spread of this virus. Our doctors and nurses need our help - they need time and resources to help treat those worst affected by COVID-19. We can give them that by simply staying home, minimising social contact and washing our hands. . Please ask yourself before you go out, is there any way I can avoid doing this journey? Can I work from home? How can I keep trips to the supermarket to a minimum? The better we follow government and WHO guidelines, the more lives we can save. 🙏 . #StayHomeSaveLives #SocialDistancing #ItsNotAboutYou #DoYourBitForSociety #Coronavirus #Pandemic #HealthComesFirst @wheelchairfencing @paralympics @paralympicsgb_official

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One of the mainstay of the US sitting volleyball team, Kaleo Maclay felt, "Opposition and adversity is nothing new to our crew. The Games is something that brings us all together, so health and safety will always come first."

 

 

World champion javelin thrower Sandeep Chaudhary of India said the health of the athletes is number one priority, and this comes before the Games.

“Though we have been training for the last four years for this summer's Games but the recent development in regard to the Covid-19 outbreak has made it necessary to take a decision like this. There are so many athletes who are not able to train at this difficult time, and there should be a fair competition at the biggest Games – the Olympics or the Paralympics," said Chaudhary, the Asian Games gold medallist, who holds the world record of 66.18m.

Germany's Para cycling world champion Annika Zeyen tweeted that the humanitarian crisis demanded such a move. 

Italian wheelchair fencer Beatrice Vio, whose country is now the epicentre of coronavirus in Europe, tweeted that the time was not to complain but to stand together for a bigger cause.

"We dreamed of them for so long ... and then suddenly everything resets. I'm sad, of course, but rightly so. Let's not complain about the lost time and let's not forget who, now and in the next few days, will fight to not lose something bigger. We'll make it," she tweeted in Italian.

 

Great Britain's  Para canoe star Ian Marsden, who won bronze at Rio 2016, tweeted that he is already looking ahead to competing in 2021.