Swiss Fair on the occasion of the Oita Wheelchair Marathon 2020
The Oita International Wheelchair Marathon was first held in 1981 in commemoration of the International Year of the Disabled, and constituted the world’s first international marathon event only for wheelchair users. The race is now officially recognized by the International Paralympic Committee, gathering athletes from all over the world. Swiss athletes have been visiting the marathon for many years, leaving remarkable successes. Heinz Frei set a world record at the marathon in Oita on 31 October 1999, which still holds to this day.
With the spread of the coronavirus around the world, the 40th Oita International Wheelchair Marathon has been postponed to next year. As a result, the organizers have taken the decision to hold the Oita Wheelchair Marathon in a different format this year, with only domestic athletes and fewer participants, not to mention the implementation of the anti-Covid-19 measures.
The Embassy of Switzerland in Japan is proud to count Oita as one of its Host Towns on the road to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021, and is pleased to support the engagement of Oita not only in terms of activities surrounding the Games, but also in the framework of the “Inclusive Host Town” Initiative.
On November 14, following the success from previous years, a Swiss Fair will be held with the aim of strengthening the friendly relations between Oita City and Switzerland. The fair promotes cultural exchanges through stage performances, presentations and booth activities in the presence of Oita City Mayor Kiichiro Sato and Minister - Deputy Head of Mission Markus Reubi. This year, the event will consist of a talk session with wheelchair athletes including Mr. Jun Hiromichi who will be discussing the secrets behind the strength of the Swiss athletes; a video message by the Swiss athletes; a barrier free fashion show with Swiss motifs; an introduction of Cybathlon, the Zurich-based championship for people with disabilities competing with assistive devices ; and a general presentation on Switzerland.
The next day, on November 15, Oita Wheelchair Marathon will be staged in the presence of Oita Prefecture Governor Katsusada Hirose, Oita City Mayor Kiichiro Sato and other distinguished guests. Minister - Deputy Head of Mission Markus Reubi is scheduled to attend.
The Embassy of Switzerland in Japan will continue to communicate and work closely with Oita City, fostering momentum towards Tokyo 2020 as well as international exchanges.