The countdown to the Tokyo Paralympic Games has started. With less than 100 days till the event, LEON FLEISER takes a look
So, on May16, 2021, we celebrated 100 days to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. A very emotional moment for me as the Chef de Mission for Team South Africa. A year ago, we would never have thought we would be here amid a pandemic delivering a team to the highest pinnacle of sport for people with disabilities.
There is still the debate ongoing if these Games are and should go ahead. There are good arguments on both sides: for and against the Games continuing.
My opinion is simple: Right now, we need some inspiration in the world during these horrible times. Who better to do it than the heroes that attend the Paralympic Games?
Stronger together. Paralympic athletes are constantly inspiring and exciting the world with their performances: Always moving forward and never giving up, which is exactly what the WORLD needs right now! Keep safe and healthy and follow our athletes in Tokyo. As I said, they need your backing online as there probably won’t be any people in the stands.
Follow the South African Sports Association for Physically Disabled (SASAPD) on social media for update on para athletes. Find them on Twitter and Instagram @SASAPD or on Facebook @SouthAfricanSportAssociationForPhsicallyDisabled.
Leon Fleiser has been involved with sport in the disability sector since 1992 when he started playing wheelchair basketball. He captained the national team to the Sydney Paralympic Games and the 2002 World Championships. He started working for Disability Sport South Africa in 2001 as a Coordinator for High Performance. It merged into SASCOC in 2005 and he is now the Manager for Team Preparation and Academy Systems. He has delivered Team South Africa to numerous Olympic, Paralympic, Commonwealth and African Games. email: email@example.com
Vaccines made available for athletes
Athletes participating in the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games are required to be vaccinated ahead of the Games. Fortunately, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has arranged for vaccines to be donated to assist countries with the vaccination process. The roll out of vaccines for South African Olympic and Paralympic athletes started on May 24.
However, a number of athletes are still in the qualifying process. The Olympic athletes for Team SA will only be announced around July 4. The Olympic Games will take place from July 24 to August 8, while the Paralympic Games are scheduled for August 24 to September 5.