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"I'm broken, I did what I wanted you to do to me"

“I’m broken, I did what I wanted you to do to me”

Paralympian Karina Beam saw the ‘natural’ gesture given her fair play

Portugal’s Karina Payem did what she would like to do, when she backed a exhausted Aimee Toyama after they both finished the 400m T20 at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, in a gesture acknowledged by fair play.

“I crashed, at the end of the race I saw how I fell, I realized I couldn’t do it anymore. I know the cost of it, and I did what I would like it to do with me: it helped,” says the Paralympic athlete.

An image of Karina Baim supporting and helping Japanese women walk was widely shared on social media, and ended up surprising one of the film’s protagonists, with several congratulatory messages for her gesture and the Fair Play Award, recently awarded to the Panathlon Clube de Lisboa, an institution whose goal is to confirm The mathematical ideal and its moral and cultural values.

“I wasn’t expecting this to happen, but I started seeing pictures circulating on social media and around the world,” says Karina Baim, acknowledging that she did not speak to the Japanese woman about the episode, because “at the time I couldn’t even talk,” but I doubt that One of the congratulatory messages for the gesture” came from coach Aimee Toyama.

On August 31, at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium, 22-year-old Karina Paim quickly realized the self-imposed demand of Japanese women.

“In the warm-up period, I noticed that she was very strict in the exercises. Three hours before the race she was pulling a lot. At the end of the race, she could not stand it,” says the sportswoman, who has won medals at the European Cup and the World Cup.

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Karina Beam admitted, with a bit of “pity”, that gestures like hers “don’t see much” considering they “should be natural” and adds: “Competition is not just about running and winning.”

The Portuguese finished fourth in the 400m T20 final, for athletes with intellectual disabilities, with North American Brenna Clark taking gold with a world record. The Japanese took seventh place, still ahead of an athlete from Malaysia.

Karina Baim left Tokyo with her best Paralympic ranking, having finished 12th at Rio 2016, and as the champion of a “simple” gesture she liked to “repeat as often as necessary”.