March 17 2023
TOKYO – The Japanese government gave the People’s Honor Award to Shingo Kunieda, the most successful men’s wheelchair tennis player of all time, on Friday.
“Without the predecessors who played wheelchair tennis before me, I wouldn’t have had the environment to play myself,” Kunieda said at an award ceremony at the prime minister’s office.
“I think (the award) is the commendation for all people who have been involved in wheelchair tennis,” said Kunieda, 39, clad in a dark suit and a gold tie.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that Kunieda has “achieved an unprecedented accomplishment and made an extremely significant contribution to expanding the social recognition of parasports as well as developing sports.”
Kunieda received a certificate of the commendation, a plaque and a pair of watches as commemorative gifts.
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