August 23 2021
TOKYO– The 1964 Tokyo Paralympic Games offered Japanese people with disabilities a glimpse of an inclusive world, with one athlete saying that the event “opened a window in life.”
Hideo Kondo, 86, a board member of a nonprofit organization of Aki, Kochi Prefecture, western Japan, was 16 when he was injured in an accident at a coal mine, leading him to live in a wheelchair at a facility in Oita Prefecture, southwestern Japan.
Kondo, who took up Japanese archery at the facility, was invited to compete in the 1964 Games’ archery event by Yutaka Nakamura, who is considered the father of Japan’s sports movement for disabled people.
Kondo used a station wagon and an airplane to travel to Tokyo for the event, but he could not use a wheelchair in them.
“I had to be picked up and carried,” he said. “To be honest, I didn’t like it.”