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Japanese manga-style portrait series of Ireland Athletes for the Paralympic Games

Para Cycling, Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal (pilot) ©Embassy of Ireland in Japan

Para Cycling, Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal (pilot)
©Embassy of Ireland in Japan

パラリンピック自転車競技に出場するケイティ ジョージ・ダンレヴィー選手とイヴ・マクリスタル選手(パイロット)
(イラスト: ©駐日アイルランド大使館)

Tokyo 2020
Embassy of Ireland in Tokyo continues Japanese manga-style portrait series of Ireland Athletes for the Paralympic Games


To coincide with Ireland’s participation in the XXXII Olympiad and the Tokyo2020 Paralympic Games and to celebrate sporting links between Ireland and Japan, the Embassy of Ireland in Tokyo has commissioned a series of Manga-style portraits of the Irish Olympic and Paralympic athletes, which will continue to appear on the Embassy’s social media platforms throughout the Games.

The principal purpose of the campaign is to highlight Ireland’s participation in these remarkable Games of Tokyo2020 – and to help build further sporting and other people-to-people links between Ireland and Japan. The campaign is centred on Japan’s original and unique tradition of Manga comic books, which tell exciting and inspiring stories for readers of all ages.

The campaign is based on the participation in Japan of a total of 145 top Irish athletes across both Games. So far, it has attracted widespread support for the Games and for Ireland’s competitors, at a time when their families and friends, and spectators, cannot be present to cheer them on in person.

The imaginative series of Manga portraits of Irish athletes was launched by the Embassy in July 2021 after a call for artists to submit ideas in a competition. The first set of drawings by winning artist AkahanaDragon, was released on the Embassy’s social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the Olympic Games. It was a great online success and proved not least to be popular among the athletes themselves. The Manga–style portraits also featured in media articles in Ireland and abroad.

The latest portraits will be released shortly after the Paralympics Opening Ceremony on 24 August. On each day of the Paralympics, a full colour image of an Irish Paralympic athlete and/or team of athletes will be published. Each post will briefly introduce the unique journey of the featured competitor in his or her sport and other inspiring stories.

An example of some of Ireland’s star athletes are Rosemary Gaffney (age 63) who, overcoming shattering injuries to her limbs incurred in an accident, will make her Paralympic debut in Tokyo in Dressage, with her horse Werona. Jason Smyth, a 100-meter sprinter in T13, is the fastest Paralympian on the planet and will be competing in his fourth Paralympic Games, where he will be hoping to add further titles to his record-breaking achievements since his Paralympic debut at the 2008 Games in Beijing.

Commenting on the Embassy’s Paralympics Manga-style portrait series, Ambassador of Ireland Paul Kavanagh said, “Manga and Anime are a significant part of Japanese contemporary culture and are highly admired around the world. Manga art embodies drama and excitement in a way that everyone can easily understand. This is an original way to encapsulate the passion of our athletes. We hope that everyone will enjoy these images and that they will help the Japanese public in particular feel closer to Ireland and the members of Team Ireland. I would like to add a special word of thanks for the warm welcome and thoughtful arrangements provided to Team Ireland by the authorities and communities in our various Base Camp towns and cities across Japan for the Olympiad and the Paralympic Games. The many wonderful shared experiences this summer of 2021 will certainly strengthen bonds of friendship between Ireland and Japan which were built up substantially already during Rugby World Cup 2019”.


Note for editors

Team Ireland for Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games features 29 athletes across 9 sports categories. It is also a gender-balanced team, with 15 women and 14 men representing Ireland at the Paralympic Games. For further details see: https://paralympics.ie/

In the Olympic Games, a team of 116 athletes represented Ireland across 19 sports. 55 of the team members were female.

Host Cities Supporting Team Ireland:

Paralympic Games:
Narita City (Chiba Prefecture): Narita rolled out the red carpet to welcome the delegation of athletes from Ireland. The citizens of the city have produced many events and a welcome video.
Masuda City (Shimane Prefecture) (cycling): Situated in Shimane Prefecture which is also famous for its links with Irish author Lafcadio Hearn, the beautiful countryside of Masuda is a perfect location for base camp for the Irish cycling team.

Olympic Games:
Fukuroi City (Shizuoka Prefecture): was also host city to the Irish Rugby Team in 2019. Connections since then have strengthened and Irish athletes appreciated the warm welcome and support of local citizens.
Iwate Town (Iwate Prefecture): hosted the Irish Women’s Hockey team and organised many events to inform local citizens about Ireland.
Miyazaki City (Miyazaki prefecture) Host town for the Irish boxing team including Ireland’s gold medallist boxer, Kellie Harrington and bronze medallist Aidan Walsh.

Towns and cities providing facilities and support to Irish athletes:
Hamamatsu (Shizuoka Prefecture), Matsue (Shimane Prefecture) and Engaru (Hokkaido) are among the network of cities in Japan, which have also provided extraordinary support and encouragement to Irish athletes throughout the Tokyo 2020 Olympics period.

Olympic Irish pine trees in Engaru
As part of an international initiative for the 1964 Olympics, a number of Irish trees were planted in Engaru and have flourished there ever since. Timber from this 1964 Irish tree plantation in Hokkaido adorns the main lobby of the Olympic Museum in Tokyo. The town of Engaru has warmly supported Team Ireland including on Ireland’s National Day St Patrick’s Day.

Diversity and Inclusion in Sport
Supporting further diversity and inclusion in sports throughout the Games, the Embassy of Ireland is working with its networks and running a social media campaign to highlight significant achievements of women athletes, both historical and in the present-day. Each week there will be posts and a hashtag #WomenInSport.

Embassy of Ireland, Tokyo Links to Social Media
Twitter: @IrishEmbJapan, @IrishEmbJapanEN;
Instagram: irelandinjapan;
Facebook: irelandinjapan

Illustration of Irish rowers Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy following their gold medal win at Tokyo Olympic Games on 29 July 2021 ©Embassy of Ireland in Japan

Illustration of Irish rowers Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy following their gold medal win at Tokyo Olympic Games on 29 July 2021
©Embassy of Ireland in Japan

(イラスト: ©駐日アイルランド大使館)




応援イラストTwitterモーメント: https://twitter.com/i/events/1424955295659352064


例えば、注目選手の一人である馬術のローズマリー・ガフニー選手は、事故による手足の損傷を克服し、愛馬ウェローナと共に、63歳にしてパラリンピック初出場を果たします。また、100m T13の世界記録保持者であるジェイソン・スミス選手は、自身4度目のパラリンピックに臨みます。初出場の北京2008大会において100mを世界新記録で制覇して以来、数々のタイトルを手にしてきました。今大会はさらなる活躍が期待されます。





一方、東京2020パラリンピック競技大会に参加するアイルランド代表選手団は、9競技に出場する29名の選手から構成されています。男女比は14対15と、ジェンダーバランスの取れたチームとなっています。詳しくは、アイルランドパラリンピック委員会の公式ウェブサイトをご覧ください。 https://paralympics.ie/



スポーツにおけるダイバーシティとインクルージョンをレガシーとする東京2020大会の取り組みを支持し、当館では今年7月、昨今の女子選手に焦点を当てた「Women In Sportキャンペーン」をTwitter上で実施しました。また、ハッシュタグ #WomenInSport をつけ、女性のスポーツ参加・参画促進について投稿しています。
「Women In Sportキャンペーン」Twitterモーメント: https://twitter.com/i/events/1415545249917775873

Twitter:@IrishEmbJapan / Facebook: @irelandinjapan / Instagram: @irelandinjapan

The Irish Women’s Hockey Team known as the ‘Green army’.  This Manga Illustration posted in July 2021 marked the first time an Irish Women’s Hockey team competed at the Olympic Games ©Embassy of Ireland ©Embassy of Ireland in Japan

The Irish Women’s Hockey Team known as the ‘Green army’.  This Manga Illustration posted in July 2021 marked the first time an Irish Women’s Hockey team competed at the Olympic Games
©Embassy of Ireland in Japan

(イラスト: ©駐日アイルランド大使館)