Swiss Fair in Oita: The 39th Oita International Wheelchair Marathon
Oita city, an Inclusive Host Town of Switzerland, will be welcoming Swiss champions this weekend for the 39th Oita International Wheelchair Marathon, one of the world’s largest wheelchair marathon competitions. On the day before, a “Swiss Fair” will be held, where the visitors can enjoy Swiss food such as Raclette and hot-chocolate, Swiss music performance by the Midorigaoka High School, and an inclusiveness-themed exhibition on Swiss hiking for all, including wheelchair users.
The Oita International Wheelchair Marathon, which takes place every year in Oita, began in 1981 in commemoration of the International Year of the Disabled. On May 29, 2019, Oita city was registered as an Inclusive Host Town to Switzerland. In November the same year, Swiss Fair and school exchange were held on the occasion of the 38th Oita International Wheelchair Marathon, which was attended by six world-class athletes from Switzerland.
It is planned that the Swiss Paralympic team will hold their pre-camp in Oita ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The final agreement, which is under preparation, will enable the Swiss Paralympic Team to adapt to the time difference and climate before the Games. In addition, in view of the Oita city aiming at the realization of "Universal design town planning" and "barrier-free minds", it can be envisaged that the momentum towards the Games as well as international exchanges will be fostered.