TUFS Students Participate in Fuchu Olympic Panel
August 3, 2017
On Sunday 23
July, TUFS students NIIYAMA Misako (School of International and Area Studies, Southwest European Studies, third year), and KIKUCHI Rika (School of International and Area Studies, Latin American Studies, third year) acted as panelists at the '
Forum 2017 in Fuchu,' an event sponsored by Fuchu City in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
After Paralympian TAGUCHI Aki, Japanese shooting representative, gave the opening address, Taguchi, the students, and three-time consecutive volunteer, the 'Olympic Junkie' NISHIKAWA Chiharu, began a panel discussion to the topic of ' omotenashi ' (hospitality, service).
Niiyama and Kikuchi discussed their experiences volunteering at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, and the values and enjoyment one can get from volunteering. They also discussed how volunteering affected their lives after the event was over. Fuchu City residents aiming to become volunteers for the 2020 Olympics listened very intently.
I am honored to have the chance to talk about my experiences in Rio last year at an event like this. I was also able to learn a great deal from hearing volunteering stories from the point of view of a Paralympian.
It was my first time discussing volunteering on a public stage, so I was very happy that people were interested in and listened to my experiences, even though I am only a student. I tried my best to get the message across, that anyone can volunteer at the Olympics/Paralympics, even those without special abilities. From listening to Ms. Taguchi's speech, I realized that, while volunteers are important, the consideration and attitudes of citizens from the host city, towards foreign visitors and those with disabilities, is just as important.