‘Why Tokyo 2021 will be one of best and safest Games ever’ – Portsmouth’s Paralympian shooter Lorraine Lambert
Portsmouth paralympian Lorraine Lambert reckons the Tokyo Games could be one of the 'best and safest' in history.
The Milton-based shooter was one of the first GB athletes confirmed to be part of the event as the six-strong para-shooting squad for Japan was released last month.
But question marks still remain as to whether the postponed Olympics and Paralympics from 2020 will even go ahead this summer because of the pandemic.
Japan presently remains in a 'state of emergency' which has now been extended due to coronavirus - though restrictions there are still not as tight as they are in the UK.
Some reports suggest that could still be the case for a few months as the country attempts to stem the rate of cases - throwing the event into doubt again.
Yet Lambert is remaining hopeful she'll be able to take part in what will be her second Games after participating at Rio five years ago.
In fact, she believes that with all the protocols and precautions in place Tokyo could be one of the safest Olympics ever.
And the 48-year-old will have no hesitation in taking her place if the event goes ahead.
‘I just can’t wait,' she said.
‘It’s going to be so nice and I just think it’s a massive way to celebrate, hopefully, and get out there and enjoy it.
‘I’ll be one of the best, safest Games. We’ve got ‘Playbooks’ into play already which get revised all the time and we’re so kept in the loop it’s unreal.
‘I think it will be (better than ever).
‘Hopefully, fingers crossed and everything, all the jabs get out there and everyone feels really safe and they can actually start to celebrate the other side of it, the light at the end of the tunnel.
‘We’ll make it happen and we will succeed.'
Lambert, GB's three positions rifle Paralympic hope, has praised both the International Paralympic Committee and British Paralympic Association for their openness and continued communication to athletes.
Amongst all the uncertainty, she has been impressed with the 'transparency' of the different Games associations.
Lambert, along with other GB athletes, were part of a meeting with Paralympics GB Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe recently, who provided an update ahead of Tokyo.
‘The BPA and IPC have been so transparent about everything,' she added.
‘Like last year, they told us why they weren’t going to hold the Games and it was like, ‘fair play, you’re dead right’.
‘They’ve kept everyone so well informed, it’s just so nice to see.
‘It’s a really good way of promoting good mental health; it sounds weird, but because you’re kept well informed you feel like you’re in control of it.
‘I’ve got every faith in the organisers. The International Paralympic Committee wouldn’t put it on unless it was going to be safe. Can you imagine what that would be like if people can down with it? They wouldn’t do it, so I think it will be safe.
‘We’re kept so well informed now, I was on a meeting last week with the Chef de Mission. I mean, how many countries would invite everyone that has been selected or going to be selected onto a call to outline what they’ve done so far and this is what our plans are?
‘Everyone from the medical teams all the way down to the athletes and heads and all the managers were all invited on calls with them.'