- Shingo Katori presented a donation to Chairman Yamawaki (right) of the Nippon Foundation Parasports Support Center. On the left is Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee (taken on August 23, 2022)
Media personality Shingo Katori donated 39 million yen to the Nippon Foundation Parasports Support Center (Parasapo) on the 23rd. He created a mural painting at the entrance of Parasapo that he drew himself and gave it to the participants as “NFT art”. He donated all of the proceeds to support the spread of para sports.
What struck me was the words of Mr. Katori, “I think that the Tokyo Paralympics are not the end, but the beginning.” 1 year after the event. The excitement and memories of the tournament are fading, and corporate sponsorships are trending downward.
Katori became a special supporter of Parasapo in 2017 along with Goro Inagaki and Tsuyoshi Kusanagi. The three of them took time off from work to talk with many athletes and experience the competition. In 2018, I also planned a “Shingo Dialogue” between Mr. Katori and Shingo Kunieda, a wheelchair tennis player. I still have vivid memories of his experiences at the Pyeongchang Paralympics that I heard there.
“There was a part of me that saw it as a sport played by people with disabilities, and I was rooting for it with the feeling of ‘do your best,’ but when I saw the hockey play unwillingly at the venue, I was like, ‘What are you doing?!’ From that point on, I came to think, ‘It’s okay to have fun like this.'”
From the bottom of his heart, the idea of “I want to support sports even though I have a disability, so I want to support them.” I thought it happened. He said, “Parasports really gave me a lot of new feelings. That’s why I want as many people as possible to enjoy it.” These are his words at the donation presentation ceremony.
Coincidentally, at the same time as the first anniversary, a former director of the tournament organizing committee was arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes in connection with the selection of sponsors. He is accused of receiving cash for convenience from AOKI Holdings, a major men’s clothing company. In the midst of the Tokyo Games’ “money and distorted concession structure” being reported almost every day, it was as if my heart was cleansed by this free sports-loving support.
“I’m wondering what I should do next. I do art and sing. I want to create a way to support them in a fun way.” did. Their continued support, even after the festival, will raise the profile of parasports even further, increasing the number of athletes and fans. This will lead to the realization of a symbiotic society. I thought this was also a legacy of the Tokyo Paralympics.[Masanori Shuto](Nikkan Sports.com/Sports Column “Sports 100 Views”)
*Kusanagi no Nagi is a bow and a sword in front of the old character.