Olympic, Paralympic athletes join 4,600-person walk to promote 2020 Games


Olympic and Paralympic athletes participated in a walk with some 4,600 people near the venues of the Tokyo Games on Saturday in a bid to set the mood for next year’s competition.

The participants walked a route near Tokyo Bay, where many of the 2020 venues are located, on a hot day in nation’s capital. They spent time looking at the exterior of the athlete’s village and Ariake Arena, which is under construction before hosting the Olympic volleyball and Paralympic basketball events.

“Tokyo will look totally different next year. I want to interact with many people to boost the excitement,” said Paralympian Toru Suzuki.

People also took photographs with athletes and experienced playing boccia, one of two Paralympic sports with no Olympic counterpart.

Shinichi Shinohara, who won a silver medal in men’s judo at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, said, “I want people to enjoy the sense of energy that comes with sports at the venues (during the games).”

The Olympics will be held between July 24 and Aug. 9, 2020, followed by the Paralympics from Aug. 25 to Sept. 6.

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