Tokyo Olympic organizers test accessibilty for disabled people

Organizers of next year’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics checked on Sunday the barrier-free conditions for people with disabilities during a test competition, as part of preparations for the Games.

During a sailing test competition held in the Tokyo waterfront area, the organizers worked on the assumption that spectators would be transported via shuttle bus from the station to the stadium. Crew members and others installed accessibility ramps at the entrance and checked the procedure to secure wheelchairs on the transport.

Shigeo Yoshihara, former Japanese Paralympian with visual impairment, said after the test competition, “I didn’t know which bus to ride, so I think it would be safer if there is a volunteer to guide.”

“The cable laid in the venue was covered with a board and there was no step, so I could pass without stress. I hope other venues can be the same,” said Shinji Negi, a former player of Japan’s wheelchair basketball team who looked around the competition venue.

According to Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, the organizers want to make the Games more enjoyable and reassuring by making full use of the test competitions.

The Tokyo Olympic Games will be held from July 24 to August 9, 2020, followed by the Paralympic Games from August 25 to September 6.