Wheelchair-using Pyeongchang Olympic volunteer: “Please do not give up being involved in the tournament because of your disability”

Written with extracts from The Asahi Shimbun

June 12th 2018

The Organizing Committee of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020 aims to create a tournament where people with disabilities and people without disabilities are involved without being divided. Volunteering to support the tournament is the same. A wheelchair user and Korean college student who participated in this year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics told Tokyo on Tuesday the issue for Tokyo.

What was the most difficult point for volunteering people with disabilities? “It’s the bus, the circulation buses on which volunteers ride, the number of low-floor buses that we can get in without difficulties is small.” Mr. Kwon Hyonu (22) a university fourth grader who attended the symposium “volunteer to run the 2020 Tokyo convention” organized by the Nippon Foundation and held on the 12 June.

Mr. Kwon who has used a wheelchair from a young age and now is majoring in social welfare studies at a university applied for a volunteer at the Pyeongchang Congress because he wanted to be involved in the national project. In the “Public Relations Hall” where tournament medals and torch torches are displayed, I was in charge of doing business to guide guests and explain exhibits.

“Even in the Olympics and the Paralympics, there were volunteers who ride a wheelchair like myself, but there were not so many people, I hope people with disabilities will be easy to participate,” Kwon said.

Among the volunteer application guidelines announced on the 11th, the Organizing Committee in Tokyo said “It is imperative that various people become a player to succeed in the event regardless of age, gender, nationality, disability, etc and so on. ”

To the the organizing committee in Tokyo, Mr. Kwon said, “Please prepare enough low-floor buses to provide the necessary number, so that we can do the same tasks as other volunteers in wheelchairs and share the same pleasure” . And I asked the Japanese friends who use a wheelchair, “Please do not give up being involved in the tournament because of your disability, I thought that I could contribute to the event and I am sure you can do it.”

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