Set to take part in the Deaflympics, the world's quadrennial main event for hearing-impaired athletes, members of the Japanese team appeared at Tokyo City Hall on July 5 to talk to Governor Yuriko Koike about their upcoming competition. Governor Koike spoke to them using sign language to express her support, with the athletes returning the distinctive sign for applause in thanks.
The Deaflympics begin July 18 in Samsun, Turkey with 108 Japanese athletes in 11 different sports competing. 18 members of the team appeared at Tokyo City Hall. Swimmer Ryutaro Ibara, 23, told Koike, "I want to make this an opportunity for people in Japan and around the world to better understand handicapped athletes. I will do my best to help lead the team on to further success at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games."
Governor Koike commented, "I am making Tokyo a place where every athlete has the opportunity to deliver their best. Please bring home as many medals as you can."
Source article published in Asahi Newspaper 7/6/17
translated by Brett Larner