Paralympians set their sights on Paris
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor praised Paralympic Games athletes for having good fighting spirit at the games after they took home two silver and three bronze medals.
At the ceremony to mark the triumphant return of 24 local Paralympics athletes from Tokyo yesterday, wheelchair fencer Alison Yu Chui-yee said she hopes full-time athletes can have better protection and she encourages more people with disabilities to become full-time athletes.
Yu, who was fourth in the women's foil team event with Charissa Justine Ng and Chung Yuen-ping, said Ng is a part-time athlete who has to balance work and sport, which is stressful mentally and physically.
Yu hopes to continue to cooperate with Ng, adding athletes should receive better support.
Yu aims is to take part in the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games and hopes to obtain good results in competitions at the end of next year to qualify. It would be her sixth Paralympic Games.
Another athlete who is determined to take part in the next Paralympic Games is badminton bronze medalist Daniel Chan Ho-yuen.
Chan said he has thought of switching to be a coach but there is no one else who can replace him to represent Hong Kong in Paralympic Games' badminton competitions. He hopes young athletes can take over in two to three years.
Chan announced on Instagram he would retire as an athlete in three years.
He wrote that four out of six medalists this year including himself are over 30.
Chan, 36, wrote: "Developing a young athlete is difficult but maintaining the performance level of older athletes is even more difficult. There should be better support and more ideal resources."
At yesterday's ceremony, each local Paralympic athlete was presented with a certificate. Lam said: "Athletes possess a high fighting spirit and have spared no effort during competitions, which have displayed the sportsmanship of never giving up and resilience. They have filled Hong Kong with positivity."
The government purchased the broadcasting rights for this year's Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Lam said the public's support for athletes through watching television has motivated athletes to obtain good results.
She added the government has injected HK$100 million into sports development for people with disabilities in recent years.