August 16 2021
TOKYO – Tokyo Paralympics organisers opened a repair centre on Sunday for prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs and other equipment in the athletes’ village ahead of next week’s start of the Games.
The organisers said about 100 staff will provide repair and maintenance services at the centre as well as in booths at 14 competition venues. Services will include tyre replacements and welding repairs on wheelchairs.
The service team includes three technicians from German artificial limb maker Ottobock, which is operating the repair and maintenance centre in the Paralympic village.
Heinrich Popow, a German Paralympic gold medallist who is affiliated with Ottobock, said the centre provides Paralympic athletes with technical as well as mental support.
“Friendships develop from the close cooperation between technicians and athletes, which inspires courage during the competitions,” said Popow, who won gold medals in the 2012 men’s 100 m T42 and the 2016 men’s long jump T42.
T42 is a classification for athletes who have an above-the-knee amputation or comparable impairment.
The Paralympics – to be held Aug. 24 to Sept. 5 – will include swimming, table tennis, wheelchair fencing and basketball. Over 4,000 athletes with various impairments will participate.