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Japan’s Paralympians vow to emulate Olympians’ success in Beijing


Japan’s delegation to the Beijing Winter Paralympics was formally launched at a ceremony on Thursday, promising to emulate the success this month of their Olympic compatriots.

Japan's captain Mokoka Muraoka (left) and flag bearer Taiki Kawayoke during a launch ceremony for Japan's Beijing Winter Paralympic delegation on Thursday in Tokyo | KYODO
Japan’s captain Mokoka Muraoka (left) and flag bearer Taiki Kawayoke during a launch ceremony for Japan’s Beijing Winter Paralympic delegation on Thursday in Tokyo | KYODO

“The Olympians giving their best greatly moved the citizens of Japan,” said Japan’s captain, women’s para-alpine skier Momoka Muraoka, who is looking to add to her five medals from 2018 that included giant slalom gold.

Japan’s Winter Olympic team won a record 18 medals in Beijing, including three gold.”The Paralympic team, too, is resolved to never quit and (to) fight to the end while giving all we have.”

Flagbearer Taiki Kawayoke, a men’s para-Nordic skier, attended the ceremony, where he received the team’s flag from Chef de Mission Junichi Kawai. The remaining athletes took part online amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crown Prince Akishino and his wife, Crown Princess Kiko, were present at the ceremony, while Prime Minister Fumio Kishida sent a video message.

The Beijing Paralympics will be held from March 4 to 13.

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