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in this episode of “My Tokyo,” Euronews speaks to American Courtney Ryan, bronze medalist at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, and Sandra Sanchez of Spain, Olympic gold medalist.
Ryan, who played for the US chair basketball team, was visiting Japan for the first time in the summer of 2020 and talked about her memories, although she did not see many places due to lack of time. Ryan tells Euronews that the place that surprised her most was the Ariake Arena, where she competed in the last competition, taking the bronze medal.
“I opened my mouth in amazement because I could not believe that I would compete for such a beauty,” she said.
Ryan and her team beat Germany in the match that decided the third-place winner, and she says the day of the competition was “extremely exciting” but also nerve-wracking, too tight. As she displays her medal, which is made of recycled materials, “It was great to bring this medal back to my home country, but also to my family.”
The curators of the Paralympic Games in Japan designed the medals from recycled materials such as cell phones, which were donated by Japanese residents to the Paralympic cause, in support of the players, players and the sector in general.
Ryan describes the ability of the Japanese to design medals of this kind as “unbelievable art”.
Omotinashi, or the art of hospitality
Ryan said she was given a warm welcome with her team upon her arrival in Japan. The Japanese call the hospitality and welcome “Omotinashi”. Thus, Ryan, who is in a wheelchair, had no difficulty getting anywhere. “Everything was set up to make things available,” says Ryan, adding that getting from Point A to Point B was easy, and that the Japanese had equipped the buses with the technology required so that everyone could get on.