Friedhelm Julius Beucher & Dr. Karl Quade
After the Paralympics is before the Paralympics – never has the sentence been more apt. Only six months lie between the Closing Ceremony in Tokyo and the Opening Ceremony in Beijing. Awaiting us in China is once again a Games with daunting signs and huge challenges, especially in view of the ongoing Corona pandemic. We are again facing the major task of having to take all the necessary precautions to guarantee the health of all the participants. Corona will also dictate the rules and lead to restrictions.
All the more therefore, we want to place the focus on the sporting side of things. In Beijing, we will experience top notch winter sports and another explosion of performance levels in international Para sport. Almost 740 competing athletes mean that a new record will be set – in PyeongChang in 2018 there were just under 570. We are looking forward to exciting competitions, enthralling duels, fascinating performances and emotional moments for which the Paralympics provide a worthy stage.
Only six months on from the Tokyo Games and the record media coverage, there will once again be an awareness boost for sports for people with a disability. Within it lies a big chance that our Team Deutschland Paralympics would like to take by participating successfully in a friendly manner. That it is not a given is, when considering the powerful international opposition, obvious. Some young athletes will enjoy their first Paralympic Games in Beijing whilst others will be going for medals. Unfortunately, our Para ice hockey and wheelchair curling teams will not be taking part. Instead, a trio will be competing in the still young Paralympic sport of Para snowboard.
Despite all the obstacles and challenges, we would like to wish ourselves, alongside the health of all the participants, memorable moments and a Games where the focus is on sport.