Winter Paralympic Games alpine ski gold medalist Ms. Kuniko Obinata shared many inspiring stories at the Super Welfare Expo, in central Tokyo, where Cybathlon, the international competition encouraging the development of technologies facilitating the everyday life of people with disabilities was featured.
2017 welcomed the fourth edition of the Super Welfare Expo, the purpose of which is to promote diversity and welfare, and to make the general public more aware about barriers faced by people with disabilities, senior citizens, sexual minorities and other minority groups. The event was held in bustling Shibuya, and attracted numerous visitors.
Ms. Kyoko Suzuki, Deputy Head of the Science & Technology Office Tokyo, gave an overview of Cybathlon founded by ETH Zurich. The first edition of this project to bring together people with disabilities, engineers/researchers/scientists and the general public was organized in 2016, with the participation of 56 teams from 25 different countries.
Prof. Shuro Nakajima, (Wakayama University) who took part in the 2016 competition with his team and won an amazing 4th place, presented one of the earlier prototypes of his powered wheelchair used during the race, and shared his great experience with the audience.
Visitors also had the chance to meet Ms. Kuniko Obinata, who won several medals at Winter Paralympic Games in alpine skiing. She even brought the ski chair used at the Paralympics, and impressed the public with very impressive stories of her past races and her current activities.
The expo itself featured various new technologies aiming at reflecting the diversity of people cohabiting in a city, and saw the participation of numerous influencers and professionals involved in innovative projects.