The PLAY TRUE RELAY is a Tokyo 2020 legacy project in which a wide range of athletes from different countries, sport and generations take part to leave a legacy of the “TRUTH” in sport, embracing the world and the future.
The “TRUTH” that each athlete has found through sport and in living will be inscribed as a message in the unique Makimono － traditional Japanese scroll paper to pass important message － and this Makimono is relayed as a message to the world, and to the future.
Sport gives me confidence in myself as I am. Through sport, I realised that I have a unique characteristic like no one else, which I should make the most of.
For 24 years of my life, from the age of five until I retired at 29, I devoted myself to a single sport – gymnastics. What I learnt and became my belief from those times can be expressed in two Chinese words, Zhuānzhù (専注) and Jiānchí (堅持).
What I learned through my competitive career is that we can do far more work than we ever believe we can. When I was working towards my first Olympic Games, I can remember times when I was absolutely exhausted, and I did not think I could do more.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are the first Games to be held with sport climbing as an official Olympic sport. I am super happy that I achieved one of my big goals to qualify to take part in such memorable Olympic Games.
I started playing tennis at age 11. I have met many people and seen a lot of wonderful things about each of them. Whether about my tennis style or me as a person, I want to take the good elements of other people, internalise them a little bit at a time, and become a collection of such things.
Sport itself is something unique. I genuinely think that sport is a common language that everyone in the world can understand and has a feel for – that is sport. People engage with sport on different levels.
In 2007, I represented Slovenia in the triple jump at the 11th IAAF World Championships, held in Osaka. I placed fifth at the time. However, the samples taken back then from the two athletes, who had won medals at the event, were later reanalysed – in 2015 and 2017 – and revealed that they had violated anti-doping rules.
Through sport I learnt the importance of training, and that you can overcome adversity and challenges by having self-discipline and being strong in both body and mind.
If you are honest with yourself, then you can be successful. That is what sport proved to me. In sport, if you lie to yourself, you will see it in the results.
Having lived as an athlete since I was 16, I learned many things that I needed in life from sport.I think that when anybody plays sport, they learn about motivation. They learn about goal setting, seeing the big picture, and dedication.
Unlike other sport in general, BMX has a unique culture that is shared around the world. Riding and watching a BMX bike is really fun.
One of the things that I started feeling at around the time of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games was that while there are ups and downs in life, it all comes out even in the end. The good and the bad alternate, so that bad things follow good things, and vice versa.
I was born with a congenital vision impairment arising from oculocutaneous albinism. Although I grew up visually impaired, my parents never allowed me to use my vision as an excuse not to participate in sport.
My whole life up to now has been about wrestling. My father was a freestyle wrestler, who became a coach after retiring as an athlete. Following in my father’s footsteps, my two older brothers already had started wrestling when I began wrestling. My mother was an athlete, too—a tennis player.
You must find fun and joy in something if you’re going to do it with dedication, because the passion that enables it arises from the spirit of enjoyment.
It’s been about six months since we got our gold medal in the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games. When I look back at that experience with a cooler head, I’m really glad that I stuck at it with persistence and never gave up.
The first time I ever glided on snow was four days before the snowboard slalom event at the 2017 Sapporo Asian Winter Games. The “power of sport” had taken me who had never even seen snow to Sapporo’s snow-covered landscape.
Sport is what gives me my get-up-and-go. Sport gives me the courage to take on challenges. Para-sport has the power to move society.
Swimming means everything to me right now. This is because in the 14 years of my life so far, I have dedicated almost 70% of my time to swimming. It’s the same for me. Swimming means everything.
I have only one arm. It is a physical disability, but it is not a negative. Whether a physical disability is a hindrance or not is up to each individual.
The way I see it, each of us as a person has been blessed by God with a particular talent. I was given the talent of being able to run fast. I thank God for giving this great talent to me, feel great happiness because of it, and keep my esperança (hope) alive. That keeps me running.
“Aim for the highest cloud, so that if you miss it, you will hit a lofty mountain.” Always aim for the highest cloud in the sky. Doing that, even if you don’t reach it, you will still be able to stand on a peak. From there, the highest cloud isn’t so far off.
Sport is full of challenges. The process of self-improvement involves difficulties that have to be faced to pass through.
Sport has taught me a lot. There’s a lot to be learnt from both the joy of winning and the experiences of losing. Developing our skills is not the only thing we can gain through hard training.
More than anything, when I’m playing volleyball, I try to have no fear. To continue to play hard and not fear making mistakes, I always try to play with a smile on my face, staying positive at all times no matter what the situation.
The restrictions in sport are the rules. In hammer throw in particular, from the size of the circle to the opening range of throwing cage, —all of these are pre-set. A hammer thrower then goes through a continuous process of trial and error in determining what can be accomplished within those restrictions through training.