Paralympic Games
24 August - 5 September 2021

Tokyo 2020: Hirose hopes Paralympics will improve accessibility

Rio 2016 bronze medallist looking forward to competing on home soil. 25 Aug 2017
Junko Hirose - Judo - Japan

Japanese judoka Junko Hirose took bronze at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

ⒸBruna Prado - Getty Images

Junko Hirose is excited about the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, not just because they are a unique opportunity for her to compete in front of her family and friends, but because they will help build a more accessible city and a more inclusive society.

“Tokyo 2020 will lead to the recognition and development of Para sports in Japan,” the judoka said. “It will also accelerate the construction of accessible buildings and more people will start caring more about people with impairment.

“My wish is that many people will watch the different competitions at the Paralympic Games live and get excited about what they are witnessing.

“I strongly hope Tokyo and Japan can showcase what we are capable of through successful Paralympics.”

The 27-year-old will be one of the hosts’ main medal hopes, especially after winning bronze in the women’s -57kg at Rio 2016.

“I am very pleased with my performance at last year’s Paralympic Games, mostly I believe thanks to the Brazilian people’s hospitality. I could spend my days in Rio without any stress and fully focused on the competitions,” said Hirose.

“And, in three-years-time, I imagine myself claiming gold in Tokyo! That is my biggest dream. This opportunity to compete in my country at a Paralympics is like a miracle to me. It is a once in a lifetime experience and will give my best.

“I also want to fulfill my dream of seeing people united and people with impairment living like any other person in society.”

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will take place between 25 August-6 September. More information is available on Tokyo 2020’s website.