Paralympian Kunieda Receives Japan’s People’s Honor Award

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Wheelchair tennis legend Shingo Kunieda holds his People’s Honor Award plaque at the Prime Minister’s Office on Friday.

Wheelchair tennis legend Shingo Kunieda on Friday received the People’s Honor Award, becoming the first para-athlete to do so since the accolade was established in 1977.

The 39-year-old won four Paralympic golds in men’s wheelchair tennis.

“His accomplishments are unprecedented,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said at an award ceremony at the Prime Minister’s Office. “He has inspired people and allowed them to dream, while giving bright hope and courage to society.”

Speaking after the ceremony, Kunieda said, “I’d like to share my joy with my wife and others.”

Kunieda has enjoyed a long career as a leading figure in parasports. In addition to his Paralympic golds, he also achieved a lifetime Golden Slam by winning all four major tennis tournaments.