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Athletes with Guide Dogs
Prior to the opening of the Paralympic Games on 24 August 2021, athletes from Canada and Israel came to Japan with their guide dogs. There are differences in laws and social expectations towards guide dogs between Japan and other countries. Therefore, JGDA provides various support to guide dog users from overseas so that when they come to Japan, they can enter the country smoothly and explore freely during their stay.
Between IGDF member organisations, when their users travel abroad, they provide travel information and training records to the destination country and request support in the country of stay. In the case of Japan, since the Act on Assistance Dogs for Persons with Physical Disabilities requires users to carry a Guide Dog User's Certificate, JGDA issues a Temporary Certificate of Overseas Assistance Dog User to users coming to Japan.
Normally, one of our Guide Dog Mobility Instructors meets the guide dog team at the airport when they enter Japan, to assess guide dog mobility performance and to lecture about Japanese laws. However, due to COVID-19, it was carried out online. We tried to support the athletes as much as possible, so that they could be with their guide dogs without feeling stressed and concentrate on the competition.
The sight of Israeli athletes walking proudly with their guide dogs at the opening ceremony was the talk of the media.
Victoria Nolan, who competes in the Mixed Coxed Four event, came to Japan from Canada. In a preliminary online meeting with a GD instructor, she said of her guide dog, "I have been on many expeditions, and my partner, Alan is very calm and is unfazed wherever we go." Her team finished 8th in the finals.
Achiya Klein and his partner, Night pose in front of the Tokyo Paralympics 2020 monument in the Athlete’s Village.