August 16, 2021 at 17:50 JST
Satoshi Sato, right, and Haruka Saito hold a lantern for the Tokyo Paralympics at the J-Village in Fukushima Prefecture on Aug. 12. (Nobuyuki Takiguchi)
Tokyo Paralympics organizers opened a repair center on Sunday for prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs and other equipment in the athletes' village ahead of next week's start of the Games.
The organizers said about 100 staff will provide repair and maintenance services at the center as well as in booths at 14 competition venues. Services will include tire replacements and welding repairs on wheelchairs.
The service team includes three technicians from German artificial limb maker Ottobock, which is operating the repair and maintenance center in the Paralympic village.
Heinrich Popow, a German Paralympic gold medalist who is affiliated with Ottobock, said the center provides Paralympic athletes with technical as well as mental support.
“Friendships develop from the close cooperation between technicians and athletes, which inspires courage during the competitions,” said Popow, who won gold medals in the 2012 men's 100 m T42 and the 2016 men's long jump T42.
T42 is a classification for athletes who have an above-the-knee amputation or comparable impairment.
The Paralympics--to be held Aug. 24 to Sept. 5--will include swimming, table tennis, wheelchair fencing and basketball. Over 4,000 athletes with various impairments will participate.
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