What are the legacies of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics? “Distinctive” instead of “Disabled”

Tokyo Olympics 2020News

Various legacies were expected for the Tokyo Olympics. However, due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the economic effect disappeared as an illusion, and the Japanese people had been divided into the “force hosting” group and the “perfect epidemic prevention” group. Even the feeling, “There may have been more negative legacies” comes across the head.

The main focus of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics was whether or not it would be held under the pandemic. Although it was almost crowdless and struggled in terms of operation, they managed to pass the baton to the next Paris Olympics. People must have felt relieved for having completed the competition to the end, despite the pros and cons of hosting them until the last minute after being postponed for a year due to the coronavirus crisis.

In the midst of a fierce headwind, they fulfilled the minimum quota. However, isn’t it a little sad to be satisfied with just the fact that it took place? It’s never too late. Let’s create wonderful legacies of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics even from now. I drove the pen with that enthusiasm.

Gender equality progresses, the largest number of Paralympians in the history

Laurel Hubbard (New Zealand), who is the first transgender woman in the history of the Olympic Games, participated in the weightlifting Women’s +87 kg class and won the gold medal at this Games of Tokyo.

There are various opinions about this result, but we were able to get a glimpse of the attitude working towards diversity.

Furthermore, the number of athletes participating in the Paralympics was the largest in history, and the Games of Tokyo became an inclusive event. Just except for the audience … .

Records of the Olympics and Paralympics come close, and reverse in some cases

The long jump (Men) is one of the sports that attracted attention at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. Miltiadis Tentoglou (Greece) jumped 8m 41cm and won the gold medal in the Olympic games.

In the Paralympic T64 class (Unilateral below knee limb deficiency), many fans expected that Markus Rehm (Germany) may surpass the Tokyo Olympic gold medal record.

It’s not surprising. Because he set a new world record of 8m 62cm at the European Championships held in June 2021 just before he arrived in Tokyo.

The result was the third consecutive Paralympic gold by Markus Rehm, however, it was 8m18cm therefore he couldn´t break his best record. Even so, he has jumped the same distance as Eusebio Caceres (Spain), who was fourth in the Tokyo Olympics, and it was only 3cm to 8m 21cm of bronze medal-winning Maykel Massó (Cuba).

At the Paralympics, athletes have been making efforts of course, but technological innovations are also progressing, and new world records are frequently set, sometimes surpassing the Olympic results.

Athanasios Ghavelas (Greece), who is the gold medalist of athletics men’s 100-metres T11 (Visual impairment), marked 10 seconds 82 to break the world record at the Games of Tokyo.

For example, Matthew Centrowitz (USA) won the athletics men’s 1500-metres with a time of 3:50:00 at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

On the other hand, Abdellatif Baka (Algeria) won the gold medal at the Rio Paralympics men’s 1500-metres T13 (Visual impairment) with a new record of 3:48.29. The silver medalist Tamiru Demisse (Ethiopia) finished with 3:48.49. Henry Kirwa (Kenya) got the bronze medal with 3:49.59. In addition, Fouad Baka, the twin brother of the gold medalist, marked 3:49.84, therefore 4 runners surpassed the gold medal result of the Olympics held just before.

With the development of orthoses, there are good chances that better records than the Olympics such as in athletics will be made further in the future.

“Really disabled?” Handicaps are the characters a diverse society is comprised of

Is it really appropriate to call these paralympians “disabled” despite them showing actions that do not feel handicapped?

In the first place, are the people who are generally considered to be “disabled” really disabled? Examples of sports are mentioned above, and there are people with disabilities who have outstanding talents in fields such as music, mathematics and arts as well. This should not be a lack of abilities but specialisation, should it?

Some people with autism and intellectual disabilities have abilities that are unthinkable in the common sense of the general public. Hikari Oe, the son of Nobel Prize-winning author Kenzaburo Oe, developed his talent as a composer while having intellectual disabilities.

Kim Peek, who became the model for Raymond Babbitt played by Dustin Hoffman in the movie “Rain Man,” had savant syndrome, and he had the abilities to memorise the contents of a huge amount of books, and make complicated calculations easily as if using a calculator.

Stephen Wiltshire, the British artist, has savant syndrome as well. He has the extraordinary ability to accurately memorise the landscape by just having a glimpse, and draw details as if he had taken a photograph.

These people have special abilities beyond our imagination while they need help in their daily lives.

For example, blind people may generally be considered disabled. However, it’s not easy for people, who are said to be able-bodied, to be able to read braille with just the sensation of their fingers. If an accident occurs on the subway and there is a power outage, the visually impaired would have the advantage of moving in the dark. Thus, people with disabilities may be better at something than able-bodied people.

Change the words and remove coloured spectacles at the same time

Isn’t it too imprudent to judge that they are “disabiled people” by looking only at the parts that seem to be missing through the coloured glasses so-called the common sense of the majority of people? No way there are 2 people in the world who have exactly the same abilities. When you imagine a human society where everyone is exactly the same, there is no individuality or diversity, and it feels flavourless. Everyone is peerless. Different strokes for different folks, so that people support each other, deepen ties and build an attractive society.

In recent years, the view that diversity should be acknowledged has become more important, and there is a solid basis for it. As society changes and the times change, so does the language. Many words came from the West during the era of civilization, which was the revolutionary period of Japan. Isn’t the term “disabled” obsolete?

We should recognise how many people are hurt by the word “disability.”

I would like to propose a new name here. “Physically disabled” and “Physically handicapped” would be “Physically distinctive.” In addition, how about paraphrasing “Mentally disordered” and “Mentally disabled” as “Mentally distinctive?”

Similarly, “Physical disability” and “Physical handicap” would be “Physical distinctiveness.” In addition, how about calling “Mental disorder” and “Mental disability” as “Mental distinctiveness?”

There is no need to change medical terms immediately. It’s not desirable to confuse the medical setting that holds people’s health and lives. However, the expressions used by the wide public in society should be changed.

For example, the scientific name of the animal we call “rabbit” is “Leporinae.” It shouldn’t cause issues to have general names and scientific names. Just changing the word like this should alleviate some of the misery many people with physical distinctiveness and their families feel.

Make the words “Distinctive” and “Distinctiveness” the legacies of Tokyo

I would like to propose to create the words “Physically distinctive” and “Physical distinctiveness,” also “Mentally distinctive” and “Mental distinctiveness” as legacies of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, which was held for the second time after more than half a century since 1964, and leave them to posterity.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Games

Juegos Olímpicos y Paralímpicos de París 2024

Author: Takuya Nagata. Amazon Profile

Novel writer, Creator. Traveled to Brazil and trained football at CFZ do Rio (Centro de Futebol Zico Sociedade Esportiva) in Rio de Janeiro. Played soccer for the Urawa Reds (Urawa Red Diamonds), one of the biggest football clubs in Japan, and toured to Europe. Retired at young and voyaged alone to England and graduated from UCA, the UK’s university. Established careers as journalist, football coach, consultant, etc. across Europe such as Spain. Knowledgeable in creative and technology fields as well. Launched “MINIЯISM” (minirism), the art movement that contributes to the development of societies and the knowledge hub “The Minimalist.” The founder of “Propulsive Football” (PROBALL), the world’s first ever competitive mixed football facilitating diversity and spirits for equal participation of the society.
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