The sensation of Tokyo 2020! Guide dogs attract attention during the Paralympic Games, and their work is of the utmost importance.
One of the aspects that stood out the most during the opening of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games was the participation of the guide dogs. Most people on social media were excited to see them, and the tenderness they provoked was a topic of conversation.
But why did we find these tenderloins during the event? One of the categories in adapted sport is that of the visually impaired. Some athletes are more impaired than others; there are those who perceive luminosity or who suffer a total loss.
Other athletes have diagnoses that prevent them from moving normally. Whether they are joint problems or other conditions such as epilepsy, they cause the individual to need the support of other people or living beings. That’s where the puppies appear.
Guide dogs are faithful companions to various participants in the Paralympic Games. They help them move from one place to another without losing control. In short, they help them regain their autonomy, mobility, and even self-esteem.
Of course, the panorama is different for each person or athlete. Just as they can count on a furry guide, they may need extra help from a Personal Care Assistant (PCA).
For example, American swimmer Becca Meyers has her own guide dog, but it’s not enough. Her vision loss is so severe that he also requires the assistance of another person. The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) did not have the budget for the trip of her PCA, and the athlete resigned to participate in the fair.
Guide dogs at the Paralympic Games, not pets
When it comes to guiding dogs at the Paralympic Games or outside of them, we must understand that they are not like our pets or the ones we rescue. They are trained to do a job, and when they accompany athletes, they are on duty.
For that reason, people are asked not to try to pet them when they see them on the street or when passing by.
American Anastasia Pagonis lost her sight completely when she was 14 years old; Autoimmune retinopathy caused her to deteriorate since she was 11. Swimming represented an escape for her and helped her feel free again.