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Were it not for COVID-19, Paralympian Takanori Yokosawa would be counting down with pure excitement to Aug. 24, the start of the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Paralympics — an event many once hoped would be a major moment of national celebration of disability sports in Japan.

For Yokosawa, the Paralympics marked the culmination of his miraculous comeback from the trauma he experienced in 1997, when a debilitating motorcycle accident left him permanently paralyzed from the waist down, ending his career as a motocross rider. Subsequent rehabilitation opened his eyes to the fulfillment of being a sit ski athlete, and in 2010 Yokosawa competed in the Vancouver Winter Paralympics as a member of Japan’s alpine skiing team.

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