Music × Para Sports event “ParaFes 2016” was held, 5000 people experienced an excited night
On November 22, The Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Center hosted a festival of sports and music at the Yoyogi National Stadium (First Gymnasium).
“ParaFes 2016” opened with a spectacular acrobatic performance by globally-active dancers carrying out amazing moves on crutches and prosthetic limbs. An audience of 5,000 people gathered, and enjoyed the three-hour-long festivities, which included performances by para-athletes and top musicians in support of the Paralympics.
In opening speech, lower house member Seiko Noda, who was the proposer of ParaFes 2016, said, “Many people think of the Paralympics as being something stiff and formal. I hope that this event will break this image, close the distance you may feel with Paralympians, and create life-long fans.” Yasushi Yamawaki, Chairman of The Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Center, said, “I felt the excitement of the Brazilian people at the Rio Paralympics. Let’s show just as much excitement and have fun here today!”
Medalists from the Rio Paralympic Games were also present. It included Sae Tsuji, who won a Bronze medal in the Women’s 400 m (T47), and Daisuke Ikezaki, who was part of the Japan Wheelchair Rugby team that won a Bronze medal for the first time. They demonstrated the appeal of their sports. Meanwhile, comedians Hiroshi Tamura (of the ‘Kirin’ duo) and the Bambino duo tried their hand at para-sports and livened up the festivities.
Part Two featured blind singers and Sarah Alainn, followed by singer and songwriter Maki Ohguro. She said, “I made a comeback this year after suspending my activities due to an illness. I realized how important it is to have people who offer you support. All of you present today who have shared these moments with us are now part of the Paralympics family. Let’s unite and cheer our para-athletes on.” This was met with loud cheers from the audience. The evening closed with everyone present, including the audience, singing Ms. Ohguro’s LA.LA.LA.
Yoyogi National Gymnasium (used in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics ).
An audience of 5,000 people gathered for the special one-night-only show
Para-sport equipment were on display.
A life-size replica of the commemorative mural created by Shingo Katori (of the Japanese boy band SMAP) for the Paralympic Support Center was also on display.
Taiko drummer Shuichi Hidano and guitarist Marty Friedman also performed at the festival.
Japanese House of Representatives lawmaker Seiko Noda, who was the proposer of ParaFes 2016, and Yasushi Yamawaki, Chairman of The Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Center, spoke of their feelings toward ParaFes 2016.
The emcees were DJ nico and freelance announcer Rio Hirai.
Comedians Hiroshi Tamura (of ‘Kirin’) and the Bambino duo energized the venue in their appearance as guests supporting ParaFes 2016.