The Road to Tokyo: A week in quotes

Chris Thompson wins the Men's 5000m Final at the 2010 European Trials & UK Championships (Photo by John Gichigi/Getty Images)
Chris Thompson wins the Men's 5000m Final at the 2010 European Trials & UK Championships (Photo by John Gichigi/Getty Images)

Athletes around the world have been busily preparing themselves with less than 100 days until the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021.

Tokyo 2020 has been speaking to several athletes whose journey to the Olympic and Paralympic Games is gathering pace.

Chris Thompson: Fighting off the ropes

Chris Thompson of Great Britain looks on after the Men's 10,000m final at the 2018 European Athletics Championships (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Chris Thompson of Great Britain looks on after the Men's 10,000m final at the 2018 European Athletics Championships (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
2018 Getty Images

You know, I can fight, I can swing punches with the best of them.

But I won't be coming out like a Mike Tyson swinging rights for seven rounds.

The British marathon trials winner spoke exclusively to Tokyo 2020 about the greatest week of his life, the birth of his first child five days before race day, and how age has taught him to fight like Tyson Fury. 

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ARIYASU Ryohei: Finding a style of rowing like no other

ARIYASU Ryohei aims to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games
ARIYASU Ryohei aims to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

The Paralympic Games is what helped me to accept my own impairment, so I am grateful to the event...

It was during high-school that ARIYASU Ryohei, who was a keen football player, was diagnosed with macular dystrophy and struggled to come to terms with his new impairment - even resenting sport. But it was while in university that he met a visually impaired athlete that helped him come to find his love of sport again through judo. Now, while Ariyasu has switched to rowing, he is hoping to bring glory to his home nation Japan this summer.

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Boxer CHANG Yuan: Aiming high for Tokyo 

China's Chang Yuan beats Japan's Tsukimi to claim the flyweight crown in Amman.
China's Chang Yuan beats Japan's Tsukimi to claim the flyweight crown in Amman.

Competing at the Olympic Games is the best comfort.

During the past decade, I bled, cried, felt misunderstood. Only by standing on the stage of Olympic Games would I feel that all my efforts had been worth it.

After clinching gold at the Asia-Oceania Olympic boxing qualifiers last year, boxer CHANG Yuan will make her Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 in 2021. The People's Republic of China athlete is not hoping to win gold at the Olympic Games for herself but also to fulfil a promise to her coach, who was deemed the nations “queen of the ring”.

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Tchatchouang and Ayayi: Leading women's basketball to new heights

It starts with visibility.

We tend to think people don’t watch women’s sport, but it’s just that they don’t have the opportunity.

The journey to equality and visibility for women's sport has been a long journey but in recent years big steps have been made across the world. However, there is still a long way to go according to French basketball players Valeriane Ayayi-Vukosavljević and Diandra Tchatchouang. The national team members are both deeply involved in efforts to improve the position of women in sport and spoke with Tokyo 2020 about initiatives they've undertaken to help continue the develop of women's sport.

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Brian Goorjian: The window of opportunity 

Brian Goorjian talks tough to the Australian Boomers in a time out seconds before the end of the match in 2004. New Zealand won 80-75 (Photo by John McCombe/Getty Images)
Brian Goorjian talks tough to the Australian Boomers in a time out seconds before the end of the match in 2004. New Zealand won 80-75 (Photo by John McCombe/Getty Images)
2004 Getty Images

I knew when I took it [the job] that was the plan.

And these guys, I've got from them in a big way how committed they are to the culture and how committed they are to winning a gold medal for the country.

The Australian men's basketball team may be world no.3 but there is no thing in particular missing from their trophy cabinet: an Olympic medal. Having come close to clinching Olympic bronze on four separate occasions, it is at Tokyo 2020 that coach Brian Goorjian hopes that years of hard work will come to fruition and the Boomers can stand on the podium with a medal around their next.

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