May 15 2021
Tsuwano, Shimane Pref — A doctor involved in Japan’s coronavirus vaccination program, also the father of a Paralympian, ran a section of the Olympic torch relay in Shimane Prefecture, western Japan, on Saturday.
Shigeyuki Miwa, 61, is a doctor at a hospital in the town of Tsuwano who administers vaccinations to local elderly people. His second daughter, Junko Hirose, a 30-year-old visually impaired judo athlete, is slated to represent Japan at the Tokyo Paralympics this summer.
“I am very happy because I can also participate” in an event related to the Tokyo Games, said Miwa, the first runner in the Shimane leg of the relay. “Through my running, I want to show that I am cheering her on.”
Hirose, who lost her eyesight at the age of 19, is third in world rankings and won bronze at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics. She is seen as a top contender at the Tokyo Paralympics as well.
Miwa has inoculated some 2,400 people since late April, working even on the day before the relay.