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Why some countries are more visible at the Paralympics

M.o u can afford sport with a disability? A popular line of thought for dealing with physical disabilities is this: People are not disabled. Hindering places. So can sports fields, sports and sports equipment also hinder them?

Nine o’clock in the morning, Tokyo Taiikukan, the – literally – Tokyo sports hall. The building nestled in the ground with the turtle-like roof armor has seen a lot: Wrestling World Cup in 1954, Olympic gymnastics competitions in 1964, Katy Perry in 2015 and now Olympic and Paralympic table tennis dramas. There is hardly a more sustainable sports architecture.

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The 40 millimeter play device clicks and clacks back and forth in eight fields. The flags of Turkey, Thailand, Italy or Nigeria are flashing wildly. Thomas Schmidberger is the first athlete to bring black, red and gold to the sea of ​​colors. Opposite him sits on court six someone from the country-whose-name-may-not-be-named and who therefore only carries the flag of his national Paralympic committee: Vladimir Toporkow from the town of Asbest, east of the Urals not far from Jekatarinienburg. Toporkow is punchy and powerful.

Arjun Sethi
Passionate guitarist, gamer and writer. Lives for the perfect review, and scrapes texts until they are razor-sharp.


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