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[Center News] Para Alpine Skiing Movie The Change Maker Released to Promote PyeongChang!

The Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Center created a special movie for the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympic Winter Games, titled The Change Maker. The movie features three para alpine ski medalists, Taiki Morii, Akira Kano and Takeshi Suzuki, and it premiered to high acclaim at "ParaFes 2017 — UNLOCK YOURSELF" held on November 15 at Ryogoku Kokugikan. The "making-of" movie was released on November 29.

The Paralympic Support Center has released a series of promotional movies for Paralympic sports, called "i enjoy! movies." The Change Maker is a special winter edition to promote the Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang scheduled for March 9–18, 2018.

The movie sheds light on the joy of para athletes in their brightest moments, but also the triumph they achieve after overcoming difficulties and sorrow. It is aimed to counter the negative image of para sports.

At the premiere at ParaFes 2017, the movie elicited comments from the audience such as, "Truly amazing!" and "I will be supporting them now!" After being published on YouTube, many comments were seen on social media ("Awesome!"). Morii, one of the featured athletes, expressed his expectations in the movie: "The movie is very stylish. I hope the public will be impressed and awed, and become more interested."

The movie starts with a stylish silhouette of a sit-ski. It shows not only scenes from para alpine ski competitions, but also emotional images of the accidents the athletes were in. The movie is very impactful with memorable statements, such as, "When I ski I forget my impairment" and "I'm way beyond who I was before the accident." These are actual statements from the three featured athletes, and the images of the accidents are taken from the actual sites. The movie ends with the words, "We'll lead the world," set against a visual of the three athletes training, showing their muscular physiques and powerful wills to continue forward.

『The Change Maker』

The "making-of" movie also released!

The "making-of" movie was published on November 29. This movie shows the natural expressions of the athletes, unseen during competitions, making them more approachable. The Paralympic Support Center will stream The Change Maker on its website and show it in various locations to invite more support for the athletes leading up to the PyeongChang Paralympics in March.

『The Change Maker』

[Profiles of featured athletes]

- Taiki Morii
Born in Tokyo on July 9, 1980. Sit-skier in the LW11 class (sitting). Started skiing at age four. Later became infatuated with mogul skiing and in high school aimed for the alpine ski inter-high school championships. Became wheelchair bound after a motorcycle accident at age 16. Learned about sit-skiing from his hospital bed while watching the Nagano Paralympic Games. Has attended four consecutive Paralympic Games. Won the silver medal in the men's sitting giant slalom at the 2006 Torino Paralympics, silver and bronze medals in the men's sitting downhill and men's sitting super giant slalom at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics, and the silver medal in the men's sitting super giant slalom at the 2014 Sochi Paralympics. Was captain of the Japan team at the 2014 Sochi Paralympics. Two-time consecutive World Cup overall season champion for 2015–16 and 2016–17 seasons. Currently aiming for the coveted gold medal at the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympics. Works at Toyota Motor Corporation.

- Akira Kano
Born in Hokkaido prefecture on March 14, 1986. Sit-skier of the LW11 class (sitting). Suffered spinal cord injuries in an automobile accident in third grade elementary school. Sat in a sit-ski for the first time in fifth grade, and began skiing seriously in junior high school. First Paralympics was the 2006 Torino Games. Won the gold and bronze medals in the men's sitting super giant slalom and men's sitting downhill at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics. Won gold medals in the men's sitting downhill and men's sitting super giant slalom at the 2014 Sochi Paralympics. In 2016–17 was overall second place in the World Cup season's individual event (downhill) and third place in the men's sitting downhill at the World Championships. Favors high-speed events. At the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympics is highly anticipated to win a second consecutive gold in the downhill and third consecutive gold in the super giant slalom. Works at Maruhan Corporation.

- Takeshi Suzuki
Born in Fukushima prefecture on May 1, 1988. Sit-skier in the LW12-2 class (sitting). Lost both legs from the thigh down in an automobile accident in second grade elementary school. Began sit-skiing in third grade and started attending domestic and international races with an eye on a Paralympic medal. Attended the Torino Paralympics in his second year of high school. Won the gold and bronze medals in the men's sitting slalom and men's sitting downhill at the 2014 Sochi Paralympics. n 2014–15, achieved his second consecutive overall season championship and first place in individual event (slalom). Accumulates victories with his signature use of "outriggers," which requires exceptional balance and skill, and is known as a "slalom specialist." Won the gold medal in the men's sitting slalom at the World Cup in Pyeong Chang, March 2017. Aims for a consecutive slalom gold medal at the 2018 Pyeong Chang Paralympics. Works at KYB Corporation.

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